Ostrava, 15 February 2016 – Joint-stock company VÍTKOVICE STEEL (hereinafter the “Company”) joined protests of the European steel industry against granting market economy status (MES) to China. Yesterday, on Sunday afternoon, the bus set out with 21 employees aboard from Ostrava to Brussels for a planned demonstration of European steel companies. On their trip to Brussels, they were joined by another approximately 80 employees of ArcelorMittal Ostrava and TŽ.
Granting the market economy status to China would drastically reduce the ability of European companies to resist dumping and unfair competition from China. "Current spare capacity of steel production in China is greater than the production capacity of steel producers in Europe all together. If the opposition to granting of the status fails, the European steel industry is going to be threatened by a serious problem, on the level of its very existence," said Dmitry Ščuka, Chairman of VÍTKOVICE STEEL, Inc.
Estimates of the European Steel Association (EUROFER) talk about the threat of up to 3.5 million jobs in Europe, of which 350,000 are in the metallurgy industry. According to the Council of Economic and Social Agreement (tripartite), 15,000 jobs in metallurgical companies in the Moravian-Silesian Region are at risk.
The European Steel Association (EUROFER) seeks from politicians a rigorous, transparent and comprehensive assessment of the situation, which will occur as a consequence of the granting of the status to China in Europe in terms of employment, economic growth and investment. According to the Association, China does not meet the criteria by which it could be considered a market economy and puts the pressure on European politicians in order for them to grant it the status early.
The main reasons for no granting the status to China is the fact that China does not operate under free market conditions. The steel production is state-subsidized.
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