Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission (EC), urged China to take greater action to curb its production and exporting of steel. He made the remarks at a press conference at the early September G20 economic summit meeting in Hangzhou, China.
The EC president said China and other G20 nations must “urgently” draft solutions to the problems facing the steel industry, according to an online article by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
He urged China to take a leadership role in the response as a way of asserting its rising economic power. Although not mentioned by Juncker, the steady tide of exports of both steel and aluminum from China to the rest of the world has caused diplomats and policy analysts to question whether China can rightly obtain “market economy status” within the parameters of the World Trade Organization.
Another G20 summit attendee, Joerg Wuttke, the president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, told the Morning Post that many G20 members wanted the issue at least mentioned in one or more communiques at the economic summit.
At the press conference, Juncker reportedly said it was critical for China to accept a method to monitor steel overcapacity and its causes, which had been discussed at earlier meetings in July 2016. Juncker added the European steel industry had lost some 10,000 jobs in recent years and that the EC “cannot accept this.”