ArcelorMittal boss says EU must respond further to Trump's steel tariffs
BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) - Europe urgently needs to take
further measures to offset the impact of import tariffs imposed
by U.S. President Donald Trump, the chief executive of
steelmaker ArcelorMittal told a German newspaper in an
interview published on Wednesday.
The European Commission is currently reviewing its
"safeguard" measures designed to limit incoming steel and
prevent a surge of imports as a result of Washington's 25%
import tariffs, which have effectively closed the U.S. market.
"The EU has announced safeguard measures but they weren't
effective," Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal told Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung. "Further measures are urgently necessary
given the import tariffs U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed
on steel imports to the United States."
Across Europe, the steel industry is struggling with cooling
demand and growing supply, in part as steel tariffs deflect
supplies from the United States, steelmakers say.
"The EU's safeguard clauses have gaps - it's too easy for
exporters to evade them and the impact is massive: we have a
Mittal said imports into the European Union had increased by
30% to 40% since 2017.
He said it would be negative if the European Commission were
to relax tariff protections for the steel industry in July,
adding that the review of the safeguard measures should be
completed before permitted import levels are reduced.
"From 1 July, imports to the EU can increase by 5% but we'd
actually need a 20% reduction to return to 2017 levels," Mittal
He added that quotas were also needed for individual export
countries for hot-rolled coil - steel that is heat processed
into metal sheets used for car bodies and household appliances.
Mittal said he was concerned about the European steel
situation, saying the trade conflict between the United States
and China is also hurting Europe.
He also pointed to growing tensions in trade relations
between the United States and Europe, a weakening economy in
China and Brexit uncertainty.
Mittal said there was around 500 to 550 million tonnes of
overcapacity in the steel industry, amounting to a quarter of
global steel production.
To tackle that overcapacity, state subsidies need to be
dismantled in China and unproductive manufacturers taken off the
market, Mittal said.
Asked if his son Aditya would one day succeed him as chief
executive of ArcelorMittal, Mittal said: "Aditya has done great
work for our company in the last 22 years."
"He has demonstrated his abilities and leadership qualities.
I think he'd be a strong CEO."
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by David Evans and Jan
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