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Steel import markets close with unilateral measures: Russia

The closure of steel import markets through unilateral measures has aggravated the sector’s global problems, the Russian government said.

In particular, the government added that Russia, one of the main steel producers, continues to have serious problems caused by the global excess capacity of steel production.

Despite some progress in reducing global overcapacity during the Global Forum on Steel Industry Overcapacity in 2016-2019, capacity growth resumed in 2020; even shortly before the onset of the pandemic in 2020, demand for steel had declined 1.7 percent.

Import markets

According to OECD estimates, in the long term the demand for steel will grow by approximately 1% per year.

At the same time, restrictions on imports of steel products have continued to increase.

According to data from the WTO report on trade measures of the G-20 countries for the period between October 2020 and May 2021, the steel sector has remained the sector in which the most anti-dumping investigations have been initiated (118 out of 176 in 2019).

So in recent years, the introduction of unilateral measures by different WTO Members, with the aim of closing their import markets for these products, has aggravated the problem.

At the bilateral level, the sanctions imposed on Russia by some economies have been maintained.

For the Russian government, the politicization of foreign economic and trade relations is a great challenge.

The inclusive growth of the world economy has been limited by the replacement of WTO rules by other “rules”, accompanied by methods of unfair competition, protectionist measures, trade wars and unilateral sanctions.

All this, the Russian government considered, has led to the fragmentation of the world economic environment and has negatively affected socio-economic development.

Some of these measures have caused disturbances in existing production and supply chains and generated the need to develop import substitution plans based on domestic supply.

Finally, he argued that the tendency to want to match the natural competitive advantages of countries that have cheap production factors, particularly natural resources, persists. And new forms of discrimination are emerging.

 

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