German processors stand defiantly against safeguards

In a statement to the EU Commission, the German associations of sheet formers IBU and cold rollers (FVK) are protesting against a possible extension of safeguard quotas for steel imports.

“The feared flood of imports has not realised, import quotas are falling, global steel capacities are manageable. There is no danger for the EU steel industry – it is even benefiting from the steel shortage,“ the associations say in a release seen by Kallanish.

“Continuation would not be WTO-compliant, as there is no ‘threat of serious injury’ to the industry,” says IBU Managing Director Bernhard Jacobs. “The steel industry’s arguments are based on misinterpretation and non-consideration of data,” he argues.

The statistics show a low for rolled steel imports in 2020, and the declines were already apparent before Covid-19 arrived, Jacobs and Martin Kunkel, managing director of FVK, argue.

The member companies of IBU and FVK produce around 7.5 million tonnes of steel components annually. The German steel processing sector encompasses some 3.5 million jobs – 10 times more than the mills, the associations point out. “It cannot be the EU’s interest that we are at risk simply because we cannot meet our needs through freely traded imports,” they say in their joint stament.

Christian Koehl Germany