Riegel, February 26, 2021 – Thorsten Gerber, CEO of Gerber Steel GmbH, an international stainless steel trader based in Germany, wrote a letter to the EU Commission and Vice-President Dombrovskis on Friday. In it, Thorsten Gerber urges that the safeguard measures be terminated.
Thorsten Gerber, Gerber Steel GmbH: “Basis of call for review of measures simply wrong”
The basis of the demand by the 12 EU member states, which in cooperation with the steel lobby organization EUROFER, wrote a letter to the EU Commission is simply wrong, Thorsten Gerber states in the letter.
EU member states have been badly, if not wrongly, advised
“We are shocked and dismayed by the presentation of the current situation by the authoring countries. If one looks at the existing data and situation, one could almost speak of the dissemination of untruths here. There are many indications that the twelve member states have been badly, if not wrongly, advised by EUROFER and ESTA,” Thorsten Gerber continues.
There is no threat of injury from non-European imports
Thorsten Gerber writes further: “Currently, EU steel mills have arrived in parts at delivery times in the last quarter of 2021. This means that steel producers are unable to meet existing demand in the European Union. If the manufacturers to be protected were under pressure from imports, this would be evident from much shorter delivery times alone.”
EU steel producers with excellent results despite Corona crisis year
“If you look at the results of the EU steel producers, for example the Finnish company Outokumpu or the Spanish group Acerinox, you quickly realize what a good year 2020 was for these companies. Acerniox has increased its pre-tax profit almost six-fold,” says Thorsten Gerber.
No basis for Safeguard extension available
Gerber Steel GmbH further points out in its letter that the requirements for an extension under WTO regulations for Safeguard are simply not met. EU steel producers have not adapted as required because they were not forced to do so. And the situation on the steel market does not threaten the EU mills either.
Safeguard must end in 2021
“Gerber Steel therefore demand an immediate end to the Safeguard measures. These are not justified and harm the downstream European industry. The number of jobs in the manufacturing industry affected by the EU measures exceeds many times the number of those in the steel mills. The loss of jobs in the downstream industry is a significantly greater threat. Not only in jobs, but also in tax revenues and skilled labor in the respective member states,” writes Thorsten Gerber in his letter to the EU.
European steel consumers need imports
The Gerber Steel GmbH letter addresses the urgency of the issue. And that many steel consumer associations have already pointed out the necessity: “The steel processing industry is urgently dependent on imports. If only to have urgently needed raw material available again. This has been communicated to you not least by associations such as EUROMETAL, ASSOFERMET and ANFIA. Consumers can no longer meet their demand for steel and stainless steel in the EU.”
Update: In the meantime, ACEA and a coalition of downstream steel users have also called on the EU to end Safeguard. We would like to highlight this as well.
- EU SAFEGUARD MEASURES: CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE END GROW LOUDER
- Orgalim calls for end to EU Safeguard measures
- End Safeguard now: ISTA and CAIR write urgent letters to EU Commission
- European steel users urge EU Commission to end threat of safeguard measures
- Gerber Steel GmbH urges end to EU Safeguard measures
- End for EU Safeguard: Assofermet calls on EU Commission to end market protection measures
- Automobile manufacturers’ association Anfia calls for end to EU Safeguard measures
- Eurometal calls on EU to “take care of steel consumers”
Thorsten Gerber express praise for the EU
Thorsten Gerber praises EU successes: “Last year, it was EUROFER that caused a stir with its proposal to reduce import quotas by 75%. Fortunately, the EU Commission rejected this request. For which we would like to express our gratitude. It would be inconceivable what even greater damage this would have caused in the steel processing industry. Production stoppages due to a lack of material would have become the norm.”
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