The Minister of Economic Development and Competitiveness, Arantxa Tapia, has announced that the Basque Government will go to Europe to request that it take “action on the matter” and establish a regulation that, “in some way, prevents our sector from being doomed to complete closure as a result of the chinese steel at those prices“, while he has trusted that it is done” in a fast and efficient way. “
Tapia, in statements to journalists during his visit to the Orkli company in Ordizia (Gipuzkoa), has advanced that on Wednesday the Lehendakari himself, Iñigo Urkullu, will travel to Brussels to meet with the European Commissioner for Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, and analyze how to deal with the ‘dumping’ of Chinese steel and the energy prices that harm the Compact Steelworks of Bizkaia (ACB).
Arcelor Mittal’s management announced on Thursday that the ACB de Sestao It will suffer an “indefinite temporary stoppage”, starting next February, due to the “bad situation” of the steel market, which will affect the 335 workers at the Biscayne plant, who will take advantage of the employment regulation file. The last long-term shutdown of the plant was in December 2011 and it resumed operations in June 2012.
The Basque Minister recalled that the decision is motivated by the growing importation of steel from China at prices below production costs, a practice of ‘dumping’ – a commercial practice that consists of selling a product below its price – “in which Europe is not knowing how to respond forcefully, since its regulation is being slow and late”.
“Free market yes, but not doing ‘dumping'”
“Everyone working in the same way, obviously in free market conditions, yes, but not doing a ‘dumping’ as is taking place in this case,” said Tapia, who has advanced that the performance of the Basque Executive will be, in Firstly, “in Europe trying to put this ‘lobby’ in motion that we understand that other countries will also have an interest and that we believe has to be done quickly and efficiently.”
The Basque head of Economic Development explained that the company transmitted to the Executive yesterday morning its decision to present a temporary ERE and has indicated that since then they have been “in permanent contact and coordination” with the rest of the Basque institutions, mainly with the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the Sestao City Council.
Arantxa Tapia recalled that the Sestao steel mill “has also suffered other shutdowns and they have been able to recover and return to the market”. “That is what they transmit to us from the company itself, that they will be working day by day to make that a reality and we will also be working from Europe and in permanent contact with them so that reality is as fast as possible , but today we see that we have a somewhat difficult year ahead of us, “he concluded.