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Subsidies on agenda at OECD meeting

Keywords: Tags  OECD, rganization for Economic Trade and Development, AISI, American iIron and Steel institute, steel trade, Commerce Department, steel subsidies, World Trade Organization U.S. Trade Representative

OTTAWA, Ontario — Foreign government subsidies that fuel excess steelmaking capacity worldwide were to be addressed by the United States at a two-day meeting of key steel-producing countries that kicked off July 1 in Paris.

"The United States has been working actively to address other governments’ policies that contribute to global excess steelmaking capacity, including in China and other countries. Such action includes vigorous enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws and U.S. rights in the World Trade Organization," the office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Commerce Department said.

Investment restrictions, subsidies and the market-distorting conduct of state-owned enterprises are also major concerns for the U.S. steel manufacturing sector, a spokeswoman for the American Iron and Steel Institute said. "U.S. manufacturers and their workers can compete with anyone in the world on a level playing field, but they cannot compete against governments."

A Paris-based diplomat said member countries would be discussing global excess capacity issues at the meeting of the steel committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"Excess capacity is thought to be currently very high, and it risks becoming an even greater problem given the significant investment that continues to take place, particularly in some rapidly growing emerging economies," he told AMM sister publication Steel First.

Other topics will include the economic performance and viability of the steel industry, various trade policy actions, energy market developments and their impact on the steel industry, as well as raw materials issues.

The steel committee is made up of 27 OECD-member countries and involves other steel-manufacturing countries including Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, India, Malaysia, South Africa and China. These countries account for most of the world’s steel production and trade.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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