WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today said that a joint statement by eight governments on steel overcapacity issued yesterday is an “important demonstration that many major steel-producing nations are united in their commitment to take action to address the global steel overcapacity situation that is negatively affecting the world’s steel industry.” The statement was issued by the U.S., Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, and Turkey as a result of the OECD High Level Meeting on Excess Capacity and Structural Adjustment in the Steel Sector in Brussels this week. It follows a strongly worded statement issued by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Monday criticizing China, and other countries, for their unwillingness to work to address the overcapacity issue while at the OECD meetings.
AISI participated in the series of meetings this week, and Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO addressed the High Level session with government ministers on Monday. Afterwards Gibson said, “We are encouraged by the support of many governments who, through this statement, recognize the severe impacts that global steel overcapacity and market-distorting government subsidies and other interventionist policies are causing -- and we are grateful for the leadership of the DOC and USTR to secure this action. In the U.S., more than 13,000 steel industry workers have lost their jobs in the last year, and steel producers continue to suffer from high levels of unfairly traded imports fueled by the massive build-up in steel capacity in other parts of the world.
“To succeed in cutting the glut of imports caused by overcapacity, we also need China’s constructive participation. China for decades has directly subsidized its steel industry and Chinese provincial governments continue to prevent obsolete capacity from closing. And this Chinese model of government intervention is now being emulated in other countries as well, perpetuating the growing overcapacity problem,” Gibson said. “While we were disappointed and frustrated with China’s unwillingness to move forward and take action during the global steel discussions this week, we are pleased that many other of the world’s steelmaking countries have agreed to move forward with plans to work together to eliminate market-distorting government subsidies and other policies adversely impacting the global steel industry.”
Contact: Lisa Harrison
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AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).