SMA President: Market Pressure Can Spur Solutions to Emissions, Capacity Challenges

Speaking today at a meeting of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity (GFSEC) at OECD headquarters in Paris, SMA President Philip K. Bell encouraged policymakers to take into account the way market forces and technological breakthroughs can help the steel industry find answers to some of its toughest challenges, including reducing emissions and avoiding the risks of excess steelmaking capacity. Some government interventions have gotten in the way of progress, he noted.

“I would urge caution on thinking that government trade policies alone can guide and dictate paths to reduce excess capacity and decarbonization,” Bell said. “Market forces and technology advances will also be a part of the equation. Contrast the United States — without a cost of carbon — which decarbonized and rationalized its steel industry much faster than the EU steel industry, which has a cost of carbon and allowances assigned principally to support the highest emission blast furnace producers. This has stymied the development and adoption of EAF, DRI, and hydrogen-based steelmaking, which most see as an essential part of a lower carbon future for steel. Also, a sliding scale standard is not ambitious and delays market pressure to decarbonize and reduce inefficient capacity.”

About the SMA

SMA is the largest steel industry trade association in the United States and is the primary trade association representing North American EAF steel producers. EAF steelmakers account for almost 70 percent of domestic steelmaking capacity using an innovative, 21st century production process that is less energy-intensive and has lower carbon emissions than traditional steelmaking. For more information check out our website at or our LinkedIn page.