Raw materials, including raw materials for energy production, as well as semi-finished products, and components make up two thirds of all EU imports; more than half of these imports are transported to Germany. Germany’s status as ‘export world champion’ means that it relies on imports, including those of ferrous raw materials. In fact, Germany is particularly dependent on imports of raw materials for the production of cars, electronics and machinery. Moreover, as these materials are located ‘at the beginning of a widely-branched value chain’, the Association of German Metal Traders (VDM) argues that the trade in ferrous raw materials needs to be conducted in a manner that constitutes ‘fair and global competition’. What the VDM regards as ‘free’ and ‘fair’ trade often takes place at the expense of local populationsin the Global South.
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