It is reported that Germany's biggest steel consumers banded together last week to send a warning to producers that high prices are driving a dangerous wedge between them.
A group of seven German industry associations in a joint statement said that "In the past, the partner like relationship between our members and the steel industry was an element of our mutual success. This partnership is now being put to the test with incalculable risks for the health of the entire German industry."
The German steel industry in a statement said that it only sought tariffs to restore fair trade and not to wall off competition. The seven industry associations acknowledged that part of the upward pressure on steel prices stemmed from rising costs for key raw materials like iron ore and coking coal that result from an oligopoly in the mining industry.
The associations including the influential lobbies for the German automotive, engineering, electronics and construction industries attacked steelmakers for campaigning to erect trade barriers in Europe against Asian rivals.
Brussels is currently investigating wire rod from China, Turkey and Moldova, hot dipped steel from China, cold rolled stainless steel products from China, South Korea and Taiwan and certain seamless pipes and tubes of iron or steel from China.