European steel bosses from ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel Europe and ThyssenKrupp call for the EU to do more to protect ailing industry

Francesca Washtell
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The European steel industry has been struggling to stay afloat in the global market (Source: Getty)

More than 50 European steel company bosses have written to the EU calling on the organisation to do more to protect the flailing industry and protect it from the ongoing glut of cheap Chinese imports.

The chief executives of ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel Europe and German steel giant ThyssenKrupp were among 58 company heads that have urged the EU to beef up its trade defences to ensure the "sector and its value chains flourish, investment continues, and the jobs of men and women who work in our sector are sustained".

On China's ongoing bid to gain market economy status, the bosses stipulate the EU should alter its anti-dumping regulation to align more closely with US rules, which refuse any status that allows dumping.

Read more: Market economy status for China could kill Britain's steel industry

In the open letter, published ahead of a meeting of the European Council on 20 to 21 October, the steel chiefs also called for changes that would make the EU Trade Defence Instruments quicker to deploy and to reform the organisation's emissions trading scheme to ensure there is not a cost burden "beyond economic and technological feasibility".

The European steel industry has struggled to stay competitive in recent years due to a hit from the financial crisis and a flood of cheaper, Chinese steel that has entered the market.

Read more: Global glut led by China's production boom sees sun set on UK steel industry

China is at the root of a wider global slowdown in the sector. In the early 2000s, the Asian giant account for roughly a fifth of worldwide steel supply, at which time it was also a major consumer. By 2015, China produced almost half of all steel at the same time as its consumption plummeted.

Earlier this month, China slammed the "unfair" investigation methods that had been used by the EU to impose further tariffs on two types of its exports – hot-rolled flat iron and heavy-plate steel products.

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