Steelmakers call for ‘Green Deal’ to counter Chinese dumping

(EurActiv, 24 Nov 2020) European steelmakers were already reeling from dumped Chinese imports and US tariffs when the coronavirus pandemic hit this year. According to trade body Eurofer, it will take two years for the industry to recover, a process it says could be accelerated with a new “Green Deal for steel” and a carbon border levy.

European steelmakers have welcomed safeguard measures introduced at EU level against US steel tariffs and Chinese dumping, saying they prevented a “worst-case scenario” for the industry.

But these are “not sufficient to tackle the huge downturn in demand caused by the corona pandemic,” said Axel Eggert, secretary-general of Eurofer.

“We will not be able to recover this year – it will take really two years [as of 2021] to fully recover from that,” Eggert told a EURACTIV event last week.

The European steel industry was among the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused production to fall by 17% in the period of March to October, Eggert said.

28% of Europe’s steel workforce is currently on short-term contracts or temporary unemployment, he pointed out, calling on the European Commission to “review the safeguards and extend them beyond June next year” when they are due to expire.

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EurActiv, 24 Nov 2020: Steelmakers call for ‘Green Deal’ to counter Chinese dumping