World's Steelmakers to China: Time to Cut the Glut
China has gotten very good at making steel. Making it and making it.
In fact, the "excess" production is causing such a crisis for the global steel industry that the United States is joining an international push to try to cut the glut.
"The steel market is in a state of crisis, primarily due to massive global excess capacity," U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in an interview with NPR on Tuesday. "In this current crisis, the United States' industry has suffered price declines, decreased profitability and over 13,000 jobs have been lost in the last year or so."
On Tuesdays morning, the U.S., Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey issued a statement calling for nations to act"quickly"to reduce global output.
But what exactly will happen? It's not clear that the problem will get better because China, the world's mega producer, has not agreed to do anything. Earlier this week, there had been hopes for some kind of action, not just a statement.
On Monday, officials for major steel-producing countries met in Brussels a gathering called by the organization for economic cooperation and development. Their goal was to reach a comprehensive multilateral agreement to reduce global steel production.
But without china’s buy-in, the meeting ended in frustration. China's official Xinhua news agency said that blaming China for overproduction was just an excuse for protectionism. For months, steel makers around the world have been complaining about China's relentless steel production, but they have not put a dent in the problem. In fact, in March, Chinese companies hit a record monthly high of nearly 78 million tons of steel, according to data released Tuesday by the China Iron & Steel Association.
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