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58 European steel CEOs write to EU heads of state for ‘make or break’ support

17 October 2016 - In an open letter published today, 58 of Europe’s most senior steel industry executives, representing almost 100% of EU steel production, have addressed EU leaders with a clear message: “Make the right choices to ensure that our sector and its value chains flourish, investment continues, and the jobs of the men and women who work in our sector are sustained.”

The call comes ahead of a European Council summit on 20-21 October 2016, at which all EU members’ heads of state or government will be present, towards the end of a year that has seen the European steel industry under continued pressure. Notably, EU leaders will discuss the modernisation of Europe’s Trade Defence Instruments, which the European steel industry has consistently pushed for.

The open letter highlights the steel industry’s challenges, and calls on EU policy makers to develop more effective, faster measures to re-establish fair trade, and build an EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that works for those who are part of it, as well as achieving the ETS’ objectives of reducing the EU’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

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Open letter from 58 CEOs of the European steel industry
to
Heads of State and government

“We, the undersigned CEOs of the EU steel industry, are writing to you ahead of the European Council meeting on 20-21 October.

During this meeting, you will be taking decisions that could help preserve an innovative, sustainable, and globally competitive steel industry in Europe. Making the right choices should ensure that our sector and its value chains flourish, investment continues, and the jobs of the men and women who work in our sector are sustained.

We ask for your support on a number of issues that could make or break our industry:

  • Market Economy Status of China: Alignment with the US

A revised EU anti-dumping regulation which includes the EU’s five market economy criteria, with the burden of proof in dumping cases staying with exporters to the EU. We believe the EU’s anti-dumping methodology should be closely aligned with the non-standard methodology applied by the US.

  • Trade Defence: More effective, faster measures to re-establish fair trade

EU Trade Defence Instruments are very slow to deploy, compared to our trade partners’. In addition, the effectiveness of the EU anti-dumping instrument is uncertain, producing measures which are significantly below the calculated size of the dumping, often less than a tenth of US measures.

The EU is the only major region to systematically apply the Lesser Duty Rule (LDR). Under certain conditions it must be possible to lift the LDR. These conditions must be achievable and workable, accompanied by a duty calculation based on improved injury margins.

  • Emissions Trading: No cost burden beyond economic and technological feasibility

The EU Emissions Trading System is the largest and most ambitious carbon market in the world. The European steel industry is committed to CO2 reductions and is working hard to develop low carbon technologies.

However, we need a reformed EU ETS that is fair and achievable. At present, the proposed EU ETS beyond 2020 creates costs for European steelmakers that are not borne by our global competitors. This risks jobs and investment in European steel. We need an EU ETS that changes how steel is made, not where it is made.

We trust that you can make progress on the above issues so that steel will be able to contribute to the transition to a competitive, low carbon European economy.”

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