EU, US continue sustainable steel agreement negotiations

The EU and US will continue negotiating on the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium (GASSA) till the year-end deadline, after failing to reach an agreement in time for Friday’s EU-US summit in Washington.

The summit had been hotly anticipated to produce an interim agreement that would go some way to establishing a permanent GASSA between the EU and US, with other developed economies also expressing a desire to join, Kallanish notes.

Eurofer said earlier this month the meeting should outline “an ambitious framework that will provide clear guidance and include the substantive elements of” GASSA, while the details will need to be worked out in the coming months.

The OECD recently noted that global excess steelmaking capacity has exceeded 600 million tonnes/year, with the majority found in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Some 150m t/y of new capacity additions scheduled by 2026 are meanwhile primarily carbon-intensive blast furnaces, Eurofer pointed out.

However, negotiations were reported to have broken down on the eve of the summit. The EU-US joint statement following the meeting focused on geopolitics and made little mention of GASSA, other than to say: “Throughout these two years [of negotiations], we have made substantial progress to identify the sources of non-market excess capacity. We have also achieved a better understanding of the tools to address the emissions intensity of the steel and aluminium industries.”

“We look forward to continuing to make progress on these important objectives in the next two months,” the statement published on 20 October adds.

If no agreement is reached by year-end, Section 232 duties will be reimposed on EU steel supply.

Adam Smith Poland