US-EU statement on global steel and aluminium excess capacity

The United States and the European Union issued a joint statement on addressing the global steel and aluminium excess capacity saying they can partner to “hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies to account”.

The statement was issued by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

The statement said: “Ambassador Tai, Secretary Raimondo, and Executive Vice President Dombrovskis acknowledged the impact on their industries stemming from global excess capacity driven largely by third parties.

“The distortions that result from this excess capacity pose a serious threat to the market-oriented EU and U.S. steel and aluminium industries and the workers in those industries.

“They agreed that, as the United States and EU Member States are allies and partners, sharing similar national security interests as democratic, market economies, they can partner to promote high standards, address shared concerns, and hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies to account.  

Tom Dobbins, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association, said: “This is an extremely important step toward a better trading relationship with a vital ally while addressing systemic aluminium overcapacity. We appreciate the work by Commerce Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai to prioritise this issue. 

“Massive state subsidies for aluminium production – especially in China – have distorted markets and made it difficult for many aluminium producers to compete on a level playing field for too long. It is time for nations committed to a market and rules-based global trading system to come together to combat this shared challenge. 

“Any final agreement with Europe should emphasise strong trade enforcement based a common set of rules. We look forward to supporting this process and are hopeful that the ultimate outcome will both address global aluminium overcapacity and help normalise the U.S.-EU trading relationship.”

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