BERLIN (Sputnik) — Germany may use political instruments to protect German steelmakers from possible protectionist measures by the United States, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.
"We know, of course, that we should follow the rules which exist, for example, in the issues regarding political instruments of trade protection that we don't want to use. But when I think about steel, it is important for us to make progress in the activities of the forum for discussing overproduction and fair competition in the steel industry, which was established within the framework of G20 last year. We will talk about it in Hamburg [at the G20 summit], but it is interrelated, it is not just trade; it [trade] should follow rules and be fair, and I want to promise this to German industry," Merkel said in her speech on at the Day of German Industry forum in Berlin.
On April 20, US President Donald Trump signed a directive ordering an investigation into whether imports of foreign-made steel pose a threat to national security. The Trump administration explained that the lack of domestic steel production may hinder the defense industry which largely relies on imports.
In September 2016, leaders of the G20 member states pledged to launch a global forum in order to address steel overproduction and dumping which caused tensions between the European Union and China, both major producers of steel. China, which accounts for almost a half of steel production in the world, was accused of unfair competition by many steel producing companies and agreed to decrease excess steel production by 45 million tonnes in 2016.