Steel Mills

US Steel CEO Admonishes UK and EU

Written by Sandy Williams

US Steel CEO Mario Longhi criticized the European Union and United Kingdom for being “negligent” in in addressing dumping of steel from China and blamed the UK steel crisis on “misguided policies.”

In an interview with the Financial Times, Longhi said the willingness of the British government to grant market economy status to China will make it even more difficult to bring successful antidumping cases against China.

“The Europeans have been more negligent than anybody. For them to be … considering granting as a fact market economy status to China where you have all the evidence in place that denies them that right it’s just ridiculous,” said Longhi. “You see the problem? It is blowing up in their face.”

The UK is in one of its worst steel crises due to China overcapacity and the resulting flood of low priced steel imports, as well as weak demand for steel pipe and other products from the beleaguered oil industry.

Longhi said he hoped the EU officials and the UK government will learn from the crisis triggered by the pullout of Tata Steel from the UK. Accommodating China was naïve, said Longhi, and the British and European steel industries are now paying the price.

New U.S. legislation that has made it easier to prove injury in dumping cases and punitive tariffs in current trade cases may offer hope for the U.S. steel industry, said Longhi.

Such moves should not be considered protectionism, he said in his interview remarks, but simply efforts to impose the rule of law. Longhi said he agreed with those who say that globalization has hurt the U.S. “I think we have lost more than we have gained,” he said, but added he did not support blanket tariffs favored by presidential candidate Donald Trump. Economists fear such tariffs could trigger a trade war that could damage global economics.

Longi said the stronger U.S. trade laws were enough to help the U.S. steel industry. “There is enough there that, if we can diligently use it, trade becomes a fair thing for everyone.”

Latest in Steel Mills