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USTR Statement on Report of Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity

November 30, 2017

Berlin, Germany – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released the following statement in response to the Report of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, concluded in Berlin, Germany today. The Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity commenced under the G20 Leaders’ call for a forum to address steel excess capacity worldwide.

“The United States welcomes international engagement and initial steps in addressing steel excess capacity issues. Progress on recommendations, information sharing plans and additional scheduled meetings must give way to real policy changes.  Much work remains.

“The Forum has not made meaningful progress yet on the root causes of steel excess capacity, and pointing to short-term developments and worn out promises will not cure the fundamental causes of the problem. Addressing the ongoing steel excess capacity situation will require immediate and sustained concrete action by all steelmakers, including allowing markets to function, removing market-distorting subsidies and other forms of state support, and treating state-owned enterprises and private steelmakers equally.  This view is shared by nearly all Forum members, and we welcome this recognition. 

“The Report issued today contains many helpful policy prescriptions, but it fails to highlight the recurring failure of some countries to implement true market-based reforms in the steel sector.  In addition, the Report does not contain complete information regarding market-distorting measures in certain economies and does not set forth a clear pathway for filling such data gaps.  The Report erroneously suggests that simply setting capacity reduction targets has been an effective response to the crisis, when in fact meaningful progress can only be achieved by removing subsidies and other forms of state support and letting markets do their work.

“The United States remains fully engaged in working with Forum members for strong actions to address the root causes of the global steel excess capacity crisis.  At the same time, the United States will not hesitate to use the tools available under legal authorities to firmly respond to the causes and consequences of steel excess capacity.”