World leaders have called for a international meeting to deal with the problem of excess steelmaking capacity.

At the Group of 20 summit meting in Hangzhou, China, on Sept. 4-5, leaders said they wanted to launch a “global forum” that would “take steps to address steel excess capacity and encourage adjustments,” the White House said in a Sept. 5 summary statement.

The forum is to provide a report to the G-20 next year.

A group of nine steel organizations, including groups from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe, said they were encouraged by the G-20 announcement. They said in a Sept. 6 statement, "This is an important first step, but it must be followed with concrete polity actions by governments to reduce excess capacity, end subsidies and government measures that distort markets and guarantee a level playing field driven by market forces in the near term."

Meanwhile, the Obama administration plans to take other steps to deal with steel-import issues, such as continuing to enforce 160 antidumping and countervailing-duty directives regarding steel and related products, according to the White House.

Although the White House statement didn’t single out China’s steel expansion, U.S. industry has focused on that country’s capacity growth.

A recent study sponsored by the Alliance for American Manufacturing said that China’s steel making expansion since 2000 has increased worldwide steel capacity to more than 2,300 tonnes, far above the global demand of 1,500 tonnes.

The study, produced by the Duke Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness, Durham, N.C., said, “The result is a global steel sector with record low profits and an influx of cheap steel in the global trading system affecting companies, workers and the global trading regime.”

An April report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development called overcapacity “a pressing challenge” for the world steel making industry. It said that despite current overcapacity and weak markets, steel capacity is projected to continue to increase, to 2.42 billion tonnes per year in 2017, up 4% from the 2014 level.

The OECD report also said that steel capacity growth in China “is slowing significantly,” under government policies to hold down expansion. It projects China’s capacity to increase about 3% in the 2014-2017 period.

But the study added, “Many Chinese mills are also looking to build steel plants in overseas markets, such as southeast Asia and Africa, as the overcapacity challenge is making it difficult for companies to make a profit in the domestic market.”

Updated Sept. 9 with statement from steel industry groups.