Assofermet opposes tightening of EU safeguard measures

Assofermet, the Italian association of local steel and scrap distributors, has said it believes that a further strengthening of the EU safeguard on steel imports, as requested by EUROFER, would be detrimental to the all industry in the European Union. The association expressed its view in a letter signed by Tommaso Sandrini, president of Assofermet Acciai, and Riccardo Benso, president of Assofermet, addressed to European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen, adding, that the European steel market is suffering not due to the misrepresented import flows into the EU market, but to the weakness of the steel-consuming businesses within the EU.

According to Assofermet, The increasing protectionism is weakening our industries: forcing them to pay more expensive steel is not the way to recover competitivity. Furthermore, the Italian steel distributors association argued that tightening the safeguard measures would only create an artificial price increase for steel in the EU market, allowing EU steel producers not to follow the path of innovation and to sit on granted profits.

The association, therefore, requested that the safeguard system remains unchanged and that antidumping systems should not be extended at their natural expiry, in order to restore a sufficient level of competition within the EU market. Assofermet also said it proposes that the commission grant a wide system of support in the form of additional credit lines granted to all EU companies operating in the upper part of the value chain, and non-repayable loans for both consumer spending and investment expenditure.

The best way to support the steel sector (both production and distribution) is boosting steel consumption in Europe, the letter concluded.

In a separate letter today, April 6, Assofermet asked the Italian government to reopen all economic activities that were suspended as per the latest decrees issued by the Italian prime minister to tackle the coronavirus emergency. Otherwise, they said, the effects on the general economic system would be catastrophic and unrecoverable, and would also jeopardize the country’s social stability.