Steel Products

SMA Wants European Imports Curbed

Written by John Packard

Written by Sandy Williams

The Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) has asked U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to protect domestic steel plate from an onslaught of imports from Europe.

“We urge USTR to undertake a diplomatic initiative targeted at the European countries that are rapidly increasing their shipments of CTL plate and other products to the U.S. market,” wrote Thomas Danjczek, SMA President, in a letter to Froman. “The European governments should be

encouraged to take steps to curb their own excess steel capacity. The United States cannot be the dumping ground for other countries’ excess supply.”

Steel imports have increased 17 percent from 2011 and 38 percent from 2010 said SMA, noting “troubling” and substantial increases in cut-to-length (CTL) import of steel plate from Germany, France, Poland and Italy in 2012 compared to 2011 levels. The increases are blamed on EU steel overcapacity and weak European demand. 

European Union crude steel production in the first six months of 2013 was down by 5.1 percent from the same period in 2012 and 9.8 percent from the first six months of 2011, according to the World Steel Association. SMA cited European Commission estimates of 80 million metric tons of EU steel overcapacity.

Recent U.S. steel price increases are also making imported steel more attractive to domestic manufacturing—a concern that many analysts expressed following the most recent cycle of increases.

SMA’s appeal follows a petition by a group of OCTG producers who are requesting the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose anti-dumping and countervailing measures on nine countries they claim are using unfair trade practices.

CTL plate is steel that is cut to order for use in bridges, ships, skyscrapers, oil rigs, and other products.

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