Are Europe and the U.S. headed for a steel war with China? Brussels and Washington have long complained that China unfairly helps its steel makers. Now the recession — and the different way steel firms are responding to it — is adding to the angst.
In February the alliance of European steel manufacturers Eurofer accused China of systematically distorting steel markets through subsidies. The result, say Europe's steel makers, has been "irrational capacity extension." The European Commission has slapped duties on Chinese steel pipe imports, and is now threatening World Trade Organization action as well.
On April 8, the U.S. steel industry filed an antidumping suit with American authorities against Beijing, alleging that $2.7 billion of pipe steel was unfairly dumped onto the American market last year. Eurofer General Director Gordon Moffat calls it a "perfect storm" for a trade war. "Demand has fallen off a cliff since October," Moffat says. "We know China is simply waiting for demand to return before flooding the markets.
And India "investigates" dumping claims from several countries (which reads like a who's who of vulnerable countries)
The slow-motion crash continues...