overcapacity unaddressed

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Steel Doesn't Need State Help

Thyssenkrupp – Stahlproduktion
Source: DPA Picture-Alliance / Oliver Berg [M]

Election years are good times for troubled companies, especially big ones. Politicians suddenly want to help out companies and their workers and families – potentially mobilizing thousands of voters.

Most likely, that’s why Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries complained about a misaligned global steel market and called for fair conditions and improved access to international markets.

Fair enough. We’re going through a wave of protectionism in the labor-intensive steel industry. The US has already slapped sanctions on European companies, including two German companies, Salzgitter and Saarstahl, to protect its own steel industry. In China, though, the steel industry is artificially inflated and Beijing keeps on subsidizing its exports. Dozens of countries are trying to protect their own steel industries from these cheap imports.

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