31 May 2023 – As early as January 2023, Indonesia requested WTO consultations with the European Union regarding the countervailing and anti-dumping measures imposed by the European Union on imports of stainless steel cold-rolled flat products from Indonesia. A WTO panel now had to be formed. Thinking in solutions, positive motivation and bare facts – how we work and a look at some facts. EU-US Trade and Technology Council: Still no agreement in the steel dispute. Is the EU reducing overcapacity?
- WTO: Stainless steel case between Indonesia and EU
- Thinking in solutions, positive motivation and bare facts
- Stainless steel: Looking at the facts
- EU-US Trade and Technology Council: No agreement in steel dispute so far
WTO: Stainless steel case between Indonesia and EU
As early as January 2023, Indonesia requested WTO consultations with the European Union regarding the countervailing and anti-dumping measures imposed by the European Union on imports of stainless steel cold-rolled flat products from Indonesia.
Indonesia calls for expert panel
Since no progress has been made so far and the EU had already rejected the first request for a panel, an expert panel had to be established by the Dispute Settlement Body to deal with the issue, in accordance with WTO rules.
Outcome uncertain, EU countermeasures to be expected
WTO panels usually take several months to reach a conclusion. And if there is a decision in Indonesia’s favour, it can be assumed that the EU will appeal to the WTO’s Appellate Body. In the knowledge that the Appellate Body has been unable to act for years and as a countermeasure to Indonesia’s objection to the findings of the WTO panel initiated by the EU with regard to the Indonesian nickel export ban.
EU and Indonesia locked in ongoing trade dispute
The irreconcilable attitude between the European Union and Indonesia is also reflected, for example, in the case of an Indonesian stainless steel producer who filed a complaint against the countervailing and anti-dumping measures on imports of cold-rolled stainless steel flat products from Indonesia before the European Court of Justice, in which there has been no movement for more than 15 months.
Thinking in solutions, positive motivation and bare facts
Recently we had surprising negative feedback from a reader, it was “we bring out only positive news in our articles”. In fact, this had made us happy, though it came to us as negative feedback from our reader for the mere fact that he understood our approach. Now we take this opportunity to reach out to all our readers why we do it. The principles we focused on are on the positive and progressive side. We need our readers to pay attention to the good stuff that is layered down underneath the bad times. A positive and progressive mind identifies the opportunities, stays away from manipulation, raises voice against injustice and above all brings out the best to hold our industry together.
Stainless steel: Looking at the facts
And with this attitude it is always good to look at the bare facts and question the context in which statements are made by market participants on the part of EU mills.
Looking at the recently published figures for stainless steel mills in the EU compared to 2019 and over the period 2020 to 2022, it looks like the industry has made decent gains despite three very turbulent years. Even with a slight decrease in the amount of goods produced or delivered (about -7%), European mills experienced a remarkable increase in their turnover, reaching over 47% compared to the years 2019 and 2022. This growth is particularly impressive considering the challenges faced, such as high energy costs, the ongoing pandemic, and even reports of a 50% reduction in stainless steel production in autumn 2022.
EU-US Trade and Technology Council: No agreement in steel dispute so far
The next round of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council is coming up. The Council, which is supposed to help reduce hurdles and conflicts in trade between the European Union and the United States, once again has the issue of steel on its agenda.
EU without statement on reducing own overcapacities
In the press release of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) and in a draft joint statement on possible progress, it is again stated that, among other things, action is to be taken against global overcapacities in steel production. However, it still fails to provide evidence of how this is to be achieved or how the European Union, which according to OECD data has the most overcapacities in steel production after China, is prepared to contribute to reducing them.
No solution in sight since October 2021
A solution to the trade dispute over steel and aluminium has not been in sight since October 2021. And time is pressing, which the EU is also aware of, as a solution must be found by October 2023, otherwise EU manufacturers will lose their import quotas to the United States again. And since the EU also wants everything to be WTO-compliant, this could pose further challenges for an amicable agreement.
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We at the Gerber Group have been trading in stainless steel worldwide for over 20 years. We are your experts when it comes to purchasing, import, logistics and services. Information is a vital part of this. Because only then can you and we make the right decisions. Do you have any questions? Contact us now.
Disclaimer: Many things here represent our opinion. Others are information from the Internet. We can therefore never claim to be correct or complete. And never base a business decision solely on the news you receive from us.