Clepa – the European Association of Automotive Suppliers fears that the European Commission’s proposal of extending the protection measure that limits steel imports in the EU damages automotive suppliers’ competitiveness and endangers workplaces.
Automotive suppliers, in fact, buy the vast majority of their steel inside the EU and prevailingly import a steel grade for which the European capacity is not enough.
All this with a relevant background: the European automotive industry is responsible for 19% of EU’s iron and steel industry demand.
Automotive suppliers directly employ 1.7 million people across the EU, on top of the 1.2 million people employed in the manufacturing and assembly of vehicle bodies and vehicles. Therefore, continuing protection measures in a time when steelworks are struggling to satisfy the demand and steel prices have reached record levels will necessarily have a negative impact on steel working industries, like automotive.
Clepa’s Secretary General Sigrid de Vries, commented: «Automotive suppliers typically only source steel outside of the EU in cases where there is no sufficient EU production capacity to satisfy the demand for specialised steel. This means that the continuation of the safeguard instrument with only minimal expansion of relevant quota does not serve the interest of the EU economy as a whole and comes at a time where suppliers are struggling to source sufficient volumes of steel in time».