Gerhard Papenfus — CEO of the National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa) — really needs to be called out on his piece, ArcelorMittal has benefit of safeguards despite making inferior steel at times (BD Live, August 15 2017). His basic argument is pretty simple: the Department of Trade and Industry is mollycoddling a monopolistic steel producer (ArcelorMittal SA) at the expense of downstream steel fabricators. This is a potentially arguable point. But the aggression with which he attacks the department ends up doing no service to his cause. Papenfus positions himself as the tribune of the downstream industry. "Safeguard duties would result in the immediate downsizing of downstream businesses and consequently retrenchments, resulting in many more job losses than would have been the case if Arcelor, in the absence of safeguards, were to close a part of its operations." This is not our reading of the situation; nor have we heard this projection articulated in our direct interactions ...

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