Steel industry cautiously optimistic after G-20 summit
China agreed at the G-20 summit to some steps toward reducing exports from state-owned industry, including the creation of a global forum studying overcapacity in the steel industry.
Steel industry groups said they were cautiously optimistic after the international meeting in eastern China over the weekend. Steelmakers throughout the globe blame China, which has half the world’s steelmaking capacity, for a glut of cheap steel that has led to an estimated 19,000 steelworker layoffs in the United States alone over the last two years, including at Northwest Indiana mills.
Nine industry groups, including the American Iron and Steel Institute and the Steel Manufacturers Association, issued a joint statement Tuesday thanking the participating governments for recognizing the severe problems overcapacity has caused in the steel sector.
“This is an important first step, but it must be followed with concrete policy actions by governments to reduce excess capacity, end subsidies and government measures that distort markets, and guarantee a level playing field driven by market forces in the near term,” the trade groups said in the statement. This excess capacity and the government interventionist policies that have fueled it are the root cause of the surge of steel imports currently being experienced in many of our home markets.”
All major steelmaking economies need to participate in the proposed Global Forum on steel excess capacity, they said.
“Our industry is at a crossroads,” the Brazilian Steel Institute, the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, and other trade associations said in the joint statement. “Governments must take action or we will remain in crisis. It is now up to the governments and the industry to work in partnership to create the Global Forum and define an agenda and process that will result in substantive policy actions to solve this crisis.”