We conclude there is no compelling case for governments going spare over global excess capacity in manufacturing. From the perspective of the global trading system, a nation’s excess production capacity is not the issue per se but the harm such excess capacity does to trading partners is. We build our case first by critically evaluating the implementation of the only G20 initiative to tackle sectoral excess capacity, namely in the steel sector. The dissatisfaction of key steel sector stakeholders with this initiative’s execution is merited. That the steel sector is plagued by trade distortions is not in question, how the G20 has gone about tackling it is. Then we muster empirical evidence that sheds light on how little global trade is in sectors where China has excess capacity. Moreover, exports from these sectors account for only a small share of China’s total exports. Critically we show how systemically unimportant are the trade-related knock-on effects of excess capacity such as import surges and how infrequently G20 governments have bothered to respond to import surges in excess capacity sectors during the past 10 years.