Commissioner Malmström participates in OECD high level symposium on steel

Today, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will participate in the OECD high level symposium on excess capacity in the steel sector. Hosted in Brussels by the Belgian government and the OECD, this meeting will bring together ministers, senior officials and private sector representatives from around 30 countries including the EU, China, Japan, the WTO, and the OECD, in order to seek solutions to the overcapacity crisis. In the afternoon, Commissioner Malmström will participate in the intergovernmental roundtable to outline the challenges the European steel industry faces and ways of addressing them. Overcapacity in steel was above 700 million metric tons at the end of 2015, and new plants are set to add another 47 mmt by 2018, according to OECD analysis. Meanwhile steel consumption is expected to have declined last year. The steel industry in Europe is world-leading in certain steel product segments, represents 1.3% of EU GDP and provided around 328,000 jobs in 2015. Despite the potential of the European steel sector and the significant efforts made to innovate and modernise, its competitive position on the global steel market has deteriorated in recent years. Excess production of steel in third countries such as China has increased exports, depressed prices, and given rise to an unprecedented wave of unfair trading practices, distorting the global level playing field. The Commissioner’s intervention at the roundtable will be available online once delivered