EUROMETAL calls for EU-US deal that addresses excess steel capacity, supports decarbonization

  • New EU-US agreement on sustainable steel, aluminum to be announced Oct 20
  • Seeking agreement that respects fair trade and free competition
  • EUROMETAL called for amendments to the CBAM

European steel distributors association Eurometal has called on the European Commission to ensure free competition and a level playing field ahead of an EU-US summit on Oct. 20 when a new bilateral agreement on sustainable steel and aluminum is expected to be announced.

According to industry stakeholders surveyed by S&P Global Commodity Insights, the EU and the US are expected to announce the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum, which will seek to re-establish normal and undistorted trans-Atlantic trade in the metals and contribute to decarbonizing the steel and aluminum sectors.

In a letter addressed to EC executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis published on Oct. 18, EUROMETAL president Fernando Espada called for an EU-US agreement that addresses “global excess capacity” while supporting the industry’s plans for decarbonization.

“Europe can become a top producer of low CO2 steel products globally and our industry is now actively working towards this end goal,” he said.

“The Commission should support and facilitate these initiatives whilst of course ensuring that fair trade and free competition is respected.”

Espada also called for amendments to the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which he claimed had introduced an additional layer of uncertainty into the industry and reduced the competitiveness of European steel producers.

Espada said that not all national entities were able to provide the necessary details required for implementation, adding that it was “extremely challenging” to apply it to all products containing steel components.

“We are already witnessing an increase in imports of closer to consumer products in certain market areas,” he said.

“This is detrimental to our customer base, the processors, and we expect the Commission to provide assistance and prioritize the interests of steel users and industries that consume steel.”

Espada added that “serious improvements” in the design of CBAM were required, particularly with respect to exports and downstream steel products.

Author: Euan Sadden