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Steel Committee (STEEL)
Chair:   
Mr. Ulf ZUMKLEY   
(Germany)
Vice-Chair:   
Mr. Jai MOTWANE   
(United States)
Bureau Members:   
Ms. Gabriella DE STRADIS   
(Italy)
Ms. Sheryl GROENEWEG   
(Canada)
Mr. Takuo MIYAZAKI   
(Japan)
Mr. Francisco PÉREZ CAÑADO   
(EU)
Mr. Orlando PÉREZ GÁRATE   
(Mexico)
Ms. Barbara PUTZI-SCHMID   
(Austria)
Mr. Lieven TOP   
(Belgium)
Members:   
Austria   
Netherlands   
Belgium   
Poland   
Canada   
Portugal   
Czech Republic   
Slovak Republic   
Finland   
Slovenia   
France   
Spain   
Germany   
Sweden   
Hungary   
Switzerland   
Italy   
Turkey   
Japan   
United Kingdom   
Korea   
United States   
Luxembourg   
EU   
Mexico   
Associates:   
Russian Federation   
Brazil   
Romania   
Ukraine   
Date of creation:
26th October 1978
Duration:
31st December 2023
Participants:   
India   
Chinese Taipei   
South Africa   
Egypt   
Argentina   
Malaysia   
Bulgaria   

Mandate:    -   Resolution of the Council renewing and revising the Mandate of the Steel Committee, approved by the Council on 29 October 2018 at its 1383rd session [C/M(2018)20, item 215]

 

Resolution of the Council [C(2018)134, and C/M(2018)20, item 215]

DRAFT RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL RENEWING AND REVISING THE MANDATE

OF THE STEEL COMMITTEE

THE COUNCIL,

Having regard to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

Having regard to the Rules of Procedure of the Organisation;

Having regard to the Financial Regulations of the Organisation;

Having regard to the Resolution of the Council on Partnerships in OECD Bodies [C(2012)100/REV1/FINAL];

Having regard to the Communiqué approved by the Council meeting at Ministerial Level on 15 June 1978 and, in particular, Annex II thereof [C(78)96(Final)];

Having regard to the Resolution of the Council establishing a Steel Committee [C(78)171(Final)], as amended by documents C/M(79)22(Final), Item 231 (b) and C/M(83)6(Final), Item 51 (b), and last renewed in 2013 [C(2013)87 & CORR1 and C/M(2013)19, Item 197];

Considering the significant changes in the structure of the global steel industry over the past few years;

Considering the increasing share of emerging economies in world steel consumption and production, which requires structural adjustment in many economies;

Considering that trends in global economic growth can generate difficult conditions for steelmakers in many economies, and the need for the steel industry to adapt accordingly;

Considering the susceptibility of the steel industry to government support and protectionist measures, particularly during periods of weak economic growth;

Considering continued government interventions in the steel industries of some countries that contribute to excess capacity and distort conditions of competition at the global level;

Considering the important role of steel in the overall discussions on trade policy and protectionism due to the strategic nature of the industry;

Considering policy concerns regarding non-tariff measures that result in trade distortions and trade frictions, the presence of state-owned steel enterprises and the need for increased transparency regarding their financing and behaviour, and the increasing number of restrictions on the export of steelmaking raw materials;

Having regard to the proposed revision of the mandate of the Steel Committee [C(2018)134];

DECIDES:

A.   The Steel Committee is renewed with the following revised mandate:

I.   Objectives

1.   The Steel Committee provides a unique forum for governments and industry to come together to discuss multilateral problems in the global steel industry and policy solutions to them. The overall objective of the Committee is to foster close co‑operation between governments to ensure that markets for steel remain as open and free of distortion as possible. This is to contribute to the wider OECD strategic objective of promoting sustainable economic growth, financial stability and structural adjustment.

2.   The intermediate objectives of the Steel Committee shall be to:

i)Support swift, concrete and effective actions worldwide to address excess capacity and its root cause: market-distorting subsidies and other types of support by governments and related entities that contribute thereto;

ii)Ensure that trade in steel will remain as unrestricted and free of distortion as possible. Restrictive actions should be avoided and, where necessary, strictly limited in scope and time, and in conformity with WTO rules;[1]

iii)Reduce barriers to trade of steel products and related materials, on both the import and export side, including non-tariff barriers;

iv)Act promptly to cope with crisis situations in close consultation with interested trading partners and in conformity with agreed principles;

v)Facilitate needed structural adaptations that will diminish pressures for trade actions and promote rational allocation of productive resources with the aim of achieving fully competitive enterprises;

vi)Ensure that measures affecting the steel industry are consistent to the extent possible with general economic policies and take into account implications for related industries, including steel-consuming industries, and workers;

vii)Avoid encouraging economically unjustified investments while recognising legitimate development needs;

viii)Avoid the provision of preferential treatment to state-owned steel enterprises and ensure that such enterprises act in accordance with market principles and principles of competitive neutrality;

ix)Facilitate plurilateral and multilateral co-operation consistent with the need to address excess capacity, maintain competition, to anticipate and, to the extent possible, prevent problems.

II.   Committee Functions

3.   In order to seek solutions to the problems experienced by the steel industry and achieve the objectives set out in the mandate, the Steel Committee will:

i)Continuously follow national, regional and world supply and demand conditions in steel and closely related industries, including steel-consuming industries and raw material industries, with a view to identifying potential problems and implications and making assessments and forecasts (including long-term steel demand) available to all interested parties. To broaden assessments of steel demand, attention will also be given to value chains involving steel and their inter-linkages in the economy;

ii)Continuously follow the evolution of national, regional and world steel industries with regard to employment, profits, investments, capacity, input costs, energy efficiency, productivity, innovation needs and digitalisation trends, the availability of raw materials, and other aspects of viability and competitiveness. Environmental issues such as environmental performance, compliance costs and their impacts, as well as the development of environmentally friendly production technologies, will also be monitored in this context;

iii)Develop common perspectives regarding emerging problems or concerns in the steel sector and establish, where appropriate, plurilateral and/or multilateral objectives or guidelines for government policies;

iv)Regularly review and assess government policies and actions in the steel sector in the light of the current situation, agreed multilateral objectives and guidelines and the WTO and other relevant international agreements;

v)Identify deficiencies and gaps in existing data needed by the Committee with a view to improving national inputs to the Committee and cross-national comparability of data;

vi)Make full use of its Bureau to ensure a proper functioning in operation and substance of the Steel Committee.

III.   Commitments

4.   Members and Associates in the Steel Committee agree to the following guidelines:

i)To work together to address excess capacity in a swift, concrete and effective fashion;

ii)To abstain from destructive competition in official support of export credit; they agree that their policies in the field of export credits for steel plant and equipment will be fully consistent with the Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits and contribute to the avoidance of competitive subsidisation of such exports;

iii)To refrain from domestic policies to sustain steel firms during crisis periods shift the burden of adjustment to other countries and thus increase the likelihood of restrictive trade actions by other countries (e.g. by artificially stimulating exports or by artificially displacing imports). Further, as a general rule, domestic measures should not prevent marginal facilities from closing in those instances where the facilities cannot become commercially viable within a reasonable period of time;

iv)To make every effort to provide effective programmes to assist steel workers affected by structural adjustments to find alternative employment. To this end, they will periodically exchange information on the effectiveness of policies and programmes to assist steel workers and communities;

v)To report promptly any action to restrict trade in steel-making materials and allow for consultation with affected parties.

IV.   Budget of the Programme

5.   The expenditure of the Steel Committee shall be charged against the appropriations authorised for it under Part II of the Budget of the Organisation.

V.   Co-ordination Arrangements

6.   In the course of its work, the Steel Committee will:

i)    Maintain close working relationships with other relevant bodies of the Organisation, in particular those working in the areas of trade and trade policies, state ownership, industry and innovation, and the environment, in order to complement the work that is carried out and ensure coherence, as well as other international bodies that are working on excess capacity issues;

ii)   Engage actively with Partners that have significant steel activity;

iii)  Consult with the steel industry, including national and regional steel associations, where appropriate.

B.    The mandate of the Steel Committee shall remain in force until 31 December 2023.

 


[1] It is noted that references to WTO rules and provisions in this Annex do not alter the rights and obligations under the WTO of individual participants which are contracting parties to the WTO nor confer by implication equivalent rights or obligations on participants which are not contracting parties to the WTO.
Last published on: 22nd January 2019  
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