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USTR Statement on Meeting of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity

September 20, 2018

Paris, France – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released the following statement at the close of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity ministerial meeting held in Paris, France today.  Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish led the U.S. delegation at the Forum.  The Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity was established in December 2016 pursuant to G20 Leaders’ call for the formation of a forum to address excess capacity in the global steel sector.

“The United States thanks Argentina for its chairmanship of the Global Forum and for its efforts to achieve meaningful outcomes from the Forum process this year.  The United States has been an active and committed partner in this process, working to seek prompt implementation of the Forum’s past policy recommendations, which are aimed at reducing excess capacity as well as restoring balance and market function in the global steel sector.

“Unfortunately, what we have seen to date leaves us questioning whether the Forum is capable of delivering on these objectives.  We do not see an equal commitment to the process from all Forum members.  Commitments to provide timely information critical to the proper functioning of the Forum’s work, for example, have gone unfulfilled.  More importantly, we have yet to see any concrete progress toward true market-based reform in the economies that have contributed most to the crisis of excess capacity in the steel sector.

“A report was issued today that illustrates the struggles and limitations of the Forum process to date.  Like in years past, the report underscores the urgency of the problem of excess capacity and makes recommendations about how to address it.  But the report will do nothing to solve the fundamental causes of the problem.  This will happen only when those that have created this problem act to remove subsidies and other measures that distort markets and create serious global imbalances, and take action to eliminate excess capacity.

“The United States remains fully engaged in solving this problem and is willing to work with like-minded partners to find solutions to the continuing crisis of global excess capacity in the steel sector.  However, we will not sit idly by while the effects of this crisis imperil our companies and workers and threaten to impair our essential security interests.”