BRUSSELS, April 16 (Reuters) - Steelmakers from Europe and North and South America have called on China to stop subsidising its steel industry and end other government measures which they said give them an unfair advantage over competitors.
“China’s Iron and Steel Industrial Development Plan and other government actions are disrupting and distorting the global steel market,” the steelmakers said in a joint statement dated April 15 and released on Thursday.
The groups included European steel industry association Eurofer, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Canadian Steel Producers Association, the Latin American Iron and Steel Association and the Steel Manufacturers Association.
The statement was included in comments submitted to the Chinese government.
Steelmakers have been hard hit by the global recession, which has resulted in extended output cuts, plant shutdowns, worker lay-offs and the freezing of investment plans.
China is home to about 700 steelmaking companies and is the world’s biggest steel producer.
The groups urged China to end raw material export restrictions and to stop manipulating its value-added tax system and currency. They also said China should set tougher environmental standards and enforce them more vigorously.
Eurofer filed an anti-dumping complaint last year against imports of cold-rolled flat stainless steel from China with the European Commission. It dropped the complaint last month, citing the economic downturn. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by James Jukwey)