June 13, 2018 / 5:53 PM / 2 months ago

Germany vows to press for quick action to cut steel overcapacity

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will press for quick action by a global steel forum to reduce overcapacities in the world market, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Wednesday, ahead of a June 20 meeting by the Global Forum on Excess Steel Capacity in Paris.

FILE PHOTO: Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier delivers a statement after the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Altmaier said the European Union was currently discussing steel import quotas, in accordance with global trade rules, to prevent steel imports from other countries flooding the German and European markets as a result of new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

He said there was also a possibility that U.S. companies would apply for exemptions for their irreplaceable steel suppliers in Europe.

“As long as I am in political office, I will fight to ensure that the steel industry in Europe has fair chances and still has a home in Germany,” Altmaier said at a steel industry event.

“In these difficult times, we must set lay the groundwork so they don’t suffer from the unfair practices of others.”

German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) Steel Europe said more steel coming to Europe as a result of U.S. steel tariffs would have a more serious impact than the tariffs themselves.

The direct impact of the tariffs would be “painful, but manageable”, Andreas Goss, CEO of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, said told the same event on Wednesday.

Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Victoria Bryan and Alison Williams

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