Global Forum agree on measures to tackle steel overcapacity

The Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity bringing together 33 economies – all G20 members, some other interested OECD countries and all the world’s major steel producers – agreed yesterday in a meeting in Berlin on an ambitious package of concrete policy solutions to tackle the pressing issue of global overcapacity in the steel sector. According to the agreed package, Global Forum members must ensure market-based outcomes in the steel industry, refrain from market-distorting subsidies and other government support measures that contribute to overcapacity, provide a level playing field between state-owned and private companies, and enact effective adjustment polices. These steps are underpinned by a robust monitoring mechanism on capacity and policy developments to track implementation in 2018 and 2019. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “The problem of excess capacity of steel has real effects on people’s lives – especially those who become unemployed. This is a global challenge, and it has to be dealt with accordingly. In the run-up to the World Trade Organisation’s 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, this success underlines the importance of effective multilateral cooperation to solve global problems. Of course, our work is not yet done. Now we need to walk the talk.” As a matter of priority, the Global Forum members should now ensure swift application of the agreed principles and recommendations and share – in the first half of 2018 – the information on the steps taken to eliminate market-distorting subsidies. The overcapacity issue was raised on several occasions by President Juncker at both bilateral and multilateral level, notably during the last two G20 Summits. Launched in December 2016 after a call by G20 Leaders in the Hangzhou, the Forum was reinforced by the outcomes of the July 2017 G20 Hamburg Summit. The Global Forum will continue meeting at least three times per year to monitor the implementation of the today’s commitments. The press release and a report are available online.