EU needs to boost its steel industry, say MEPs
The House debated anti-dumping measures and sustainable initiatives to support the European base metals industry, including steel, with the Industry Commissioner, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, on Tuesday evening. It will vote in December on a draft resolution prepared by Edouard Martin (S&D, FR).
”In Europe we do not have to choose between the industry and the environment, we can do both, but investment is needed,” said Mr Martin at the beginning of the debate, adding that ”the trade defence instruments should be used in an active way” and that ”measures should be taken immediately”.
Many MEPs again pointed to the challenges of fighting climate change while maintaining the competitiveness of EU industry on the global market. Most agreed that action was urgently needed. MEPs' suggestions for strengthening the steel sector in the EU ranged from a re-investment strategy, a clear regulatory framework and stable energy prices to innovation and modernisation.
The Commission should use all available anti-dumping and trade-defence instruments in order to protect European industry, said MEPs, while expressing concerns about the impact that granting free market economy status to China might have on industry in the EU.
Commissioner Bienkowska wrapped up the debate by declaring that that the Commission strongly supported a modern and innovative European base metals industry, but that the steel industry's prospects must be addressed at both European and national level.
As regards free market economy status for China, she said that geopolitical considerations must be weighed against the industrial interests of the EU in the evaluation that was currently under way.