Move Harmful to Circular Economy Ideals : EuRIC: Market Economy Status for China to Damage European Recycling

Metal recycling china market status European Recycling Industries’ Confederation
© Tony Hisgett via Flickr

The European Union’s granting of Market Economy Status for China (MES) has been strongly criticized by the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) today.

According to the organisation the surge of imports of steel products from China, linked to Chinese steel overcapacity, has considerably weakened the European steel recycling industry.

“At a time when the European Union strives to shift from a linear to a circular economy, a number of steel scrap recycling companies are paradoxically ceasing to operate temporally or definitively in Europe, as price levels jeopardize the economic viability of steel recycling”, stressed Emmanuel Katrakis secretary general of EuRIC.

According to EuRIC, granting Market Economy Status to China at a time when China is objectively not a market based economy will:

Hamper the ability of the European Union to take effective remedial action against dumped and/or subsidised products

Result in further job and investment losses in Europe

Prevent the transition to a circular economy if prices render recycling not economically viable because of biased market conditions.

The organisation added that it supports the position shared by a number of other European industry associations from across the value chain against MES for China.

“The transition to a circular economy requires a holistic and consistent approach across the whole spectrum of policies,” continued Katrakis.

According to the EuRIC secretary general this should start:

Free trade to ensure access to the world markets & fair trade to guarantee a level playing field

A well-functioning internal market for recycling activities opened to world markets.

Appropriate measures to correct regulatory distortions and incentives to reflect in the prices the huge benefits recycling brings to the environment and society in terms of CO2, energy and natural resource savings.

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