Labour Party Seeks to Protect Steel Sector in UK
Morning Star reported that UK’s opposition Labour Party was to stage a Commons vote today to kill off plans to end protections for steel industry in UK, after the government was accused of dealing a hammer blow to the struggling industry. Labour party warned that UK’s steel sector could be exposed to a flood of cheap imports after the Trade Remedies Authority recommended that Trade Secretary Ms Liz Truss end protections inherited from the European Union. Labour Party hopes that its motion, calling for emergency legislation to extend the safeguards, will be backed by Tory backbenchers in former red wall seats keen to protect an industry that directly employs 33,700 people in Britain.
Shadow International Trade Secretary Ms Emily Thornberry said the government is on the verge of selling out Britain’s steel industry. She said “Any MP who represents a steel community should vote for this motion. Any MP who cares about the UK’s economy, our industries, our critical infrastructure, our national security, and protecting the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on steel should vote for this motion. The Tories have already betrayed British farmers and now they are preparing to do the same to British steelworkers. We cannot let that happen.”
British steel industry association UK Steel Director General Mr Gareth Stace said “The TRA’s decision is a hammer blow. The government is squandering the opportunity to make Brexit work for domestic industry, it is levelling down our steel sector.”
A government spokesperson said “The TRA is a non-departmental public body and all its decisions are based on a thorough analysis of the evidence. The Trade Secretary’s decision will be published before the measure is due to expire on June 30.”
The EU introduced limits on imports in 2019 after former US president Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese steel, prompting fears of a surplus impacting Europe. When Britain left the EU, the limits were carried over, but they will lapse at the end of this month. The EU has already confirmed it will extend its protections until June 2024.
Following a review, UK’s Trade Remedies Authority has published its final recommendation to UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade on the future of the UK’s steel safeguard measure in mid June. After reviewing available evidence, the independent body has recommended the extension of the UK steel safeguard measure across 10 product categories for a further three years and the revocation of the measure across nine product categories.
Non Alloy Wire
Non Alloy and Other Alloy Wire Rod
Stainless Wire Rod
Non Alloy and other alloy cold finished bars
Stainless Bars and Light Sections
Angles, Shapes and Sections of Iron or Non Alloy Steel
Non Alloy and Other Alloy Merchant Bars and Light Sections
Non Alloy and Other Alloy Quarto Plates
Tin Mill products