German strip processors campaign for fair import measures

Germany’s sheet formers and cold-rollers are asking that the EU refrains from across-the board trade defence measures against imports that fail to take product categories into consideration, Kallanish learns. The German Sheet Metal Forming Industry Association, Industrieverband Blechumformung IBU, and the cold-rollers federation Fachvereinigung Kaltwalzwerke FVK have issued a joint statement on the matter.

Shortly before the end of the European Commission’s 200-day investigation period set in the summer, their respective interest groups have sent a letter to the German ministry of economy and energy. This emphasises that the steel processing industries and their approximately 4.2 million employees would be the losers in the case of the introduction of import quotas.

“The winner would be the steel industry. It already has good sales shown both by the economic indicators of the World Trade Organization and the company results of important flat steel producers,” say the IBU and the FVK in a joint statement.

Both groups emphasise that input materials account for 60% of the costs of their members, which therefore depend on imports, IBU’s managing director Bernhard Jacobs notes. On the other hand, those protected by the safeguard measures, the mills, are doing fine. “We do not see any current ‘shock situation’ for the steel-producing industry triggered by external events,” they say.

Both organisations claim that the measures are largely based on speculation about trade flows. “This cannot be the grounds for [… implementing] such far-reaching measures,” FVK’s managing director Martin Kunkel says.