The steel issue should not be used as a warning signal to China – European engineering is not specifically reliant on Chinese steel, however, if European steel production capacities are insufficient in the EU, our companies need to be able to source raw materials from elsewhere. If the investigation turns out to be successful in terms of tariffs, then obviously the overall increased cost has to borne by someone, industry will have to pass this on to the consumers. Chinese exports have actually shown a downturn since the dossier was raised in October this year due to internal market measures introduced to appease the EU. The result: an oversupplied Chinese internal market which offers cheaper prices and higher volumes to Chinese steel transformers, thereby creating a highly competitive and fertile environment for more complex finished metalworking products. We encourage the Commission to think again: Europe needs a long-term global strategy for free and fair trade along the supply chain from raw materials to finished products, rather than its current ‘piece-meal’ approach which takes a very narrow view of the Community’s interest, completely forgetting the interests of customers of the industry.
Furthermore, we at Orgalime believe that some of the initial criteria for raising the dossier have not been entirely met. For example the price paid for Chinese steel delivered to Europe is actually similar to those of the European producers.
All four of the criteria required to initiate an investigation appear to fall on dodgy ground. In addition to paying prices at levels similar to those found in Europe, it is well known that profits are running high in the European steel producers. We urge the European Commission to see sense on this issue and support the industries which rely on accessible raw materials in order to maintain their competitive edge.
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