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Antonio Marcegaglia at “Steel Survival Strategies”: protectionism is not the answer

Steel Survival Strategies” XXXII, the largest conference in the North American steel industry, organized by American Metal Market in partnership with World Steel Dynamics, took place from 26 to 28 June 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.
The event has brought together executives from all over the world for an in-depth debate about the global economic and steel scenario and the invaluable networking opportunities for the stakeholders.
During the second day some international speakers participated: Antonio Marcegaglia (Chairman and CEO, Marcegaglia), Kazuo Mike Fujisawa (Principal, Overseas Business, JFE Steel Corporation), John Lichtenstein (Strategy Managing Director and Global Metals Lead, Accenture), Yuriy Ryzhenkov (CEO, Metinvest Holding LLC), Edwin Basson (Director General, World Steel Association) and Leo W. Gerard (International President, United Steelworkers).
Chairman Marcegaglia, during his speech titled “Market regionalization and protectionism… will make America (steel) great again?”, reiterated the importance of global trade as the only answer to the current situation, despite the efforts made by many countries, starting with the USA, to implement protectionist policies.
“Steel global trade is decreasing; steel exports as a percentage of production are slowing down since year 2000”, Antonio Marcegaglia said. “While China reduction in export is the main factor, many Regional markets are limiting imports through cases against several different countries.”
“Trade cases of ‘all against all’ are dramatically growing in the recent years. The attempt to reach free or privileged Trade Agreements between Regions have failed. Moreover, USA is seriously studying the application of general limitation of imports for ‘National Security reasons’ (section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962). Recently, Europe is rumored to potentially consider the application of a ‘safeguard clause’.”
“In the long term protectionism is not the answer, Chairman Marcegaglia finished. “Truly unfair and subsidized competition need to be fought, aggressively and efficiently. Global trade optimizes best the global value chain. Is overall an opportunity for sustainable value creation, rather than a threat to Regional players.”