Merkel expects debate on steel overcapacity to remain tough

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves after holding a news conference to present the outcome of the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

HAMBURG (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was important to stick to aggressive deadlines for addressing overcapacities in the global steel market, or the United States could resort to unilateral action by imposing fines or tariffs.

Merkel said leaders from the world’s 20 leading economies set an August deadline for an OECD-led global forum to compile information about the problem, with a comprehensive report on potential solutions to be presented by November.

“I hope that this multilateral format will be used to show that we can solve one of the big strategic issues we face through joint action,” Merkel told a news conference after the end of a two-day G20 summit. But she said discussions on the issue would likely remain difficult.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Noah Barkin