The Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, held a working meeting with representatives of the National Chamber of the Iron and Steel Industry (CANACERO, in Spanish) to exchange views on the overall situation of steel and comment on the actions that the Secretariat has made in support of this important industry.

They discussed, among other issues, the decline in the global demand for steel; the overcapacity registered in China; and the devaluation of the ruble in Russia; events that have had a significant effect on the global steel market, increasing, too, the start of cases of unfair business practices in Mexico.

In this situation, the Secretary of Economy stressed that his office is working with CANACERO to analyze the current situations and address them in a coordinated way and comply with our international commitments.

The Secretary Guajardo Villarreal abounded that it has been designed a plan to mitigate the effects on the most sensitive products of Mexican industry (slab, plate, cold rolled steel and hot rolled steel), including the following measures:

a. Implementation of anti-dumping measures

b. Implementation of anti-circumvention measures

c. Ratification of existing shares

d. Initiation of new researchs by unfair practices

Also, in conjunction with the Tax Administration Service (SAT, in Spanish), an operational restructuring of the Sector Promotion Programs (PROSEC, in Spanish) and Manufacturing Maquiladora Industry and Export Services (IMMEX, in Spanish) is in the works, in order to combat the circumvention, ensure the payment of compensatory fees and other fiscal demands on tehe mporary imports, in those cases where they do not comply with the conditions of these programs and thus avoid its misuse.

Accompanied by the Secretary of Industry and Trade of the Secretariat of Economy (SE, in Spanish), Rogelio Garza Garza, the Secretary of Economy announced that during the present administration 16 investigations (64 per cent from the total) on products of the sector of basic metal industries, has been initiated. This represents a 400 percent increase over the same period of the previous government.

He explained that four final countervailing fees to the sector of basic metal industries have been imposed, none in the previous administration. He also said that there are currently 25 fees applicable to this sector.

Finally, the Secretarist of Economy will review, with the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of the United Mexican States (CONCAMIN, in Spanish), the applicable legal framework to combat the unfair trade practices, in order to update it in line with the international trade realities and put in attuned to what our major trading partners are ongoing.

The meeting was attended by Guillermo Vogel, President of the CANACERO; Salvador Quesada Salinas, Director General of the CANACERO; Alonso Ancira Elizondo, of Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA, in Spanish); Luis Osorio, of Deacero; Regulo Salinas, of Ternium México; Joseph Woldenberg, of Tubacero; Jorge Guzmán, of ArcelorMittal; and Juan Bosco Álvarez, of Minera Autlán and Sylvia Marcela Robles, Central Administrator of the SAT.