UK Keeps 10 Steel Safeguards & to go for Extension for 5 More
UK will introduce new measures for the steel industry after backing a recommendation to scrap some existing import quotas. UK’s International trade secretary Ms Liz Truss confirmed that the government would accept the Trade Remedies Authority’s finding and scrap existing safeguards on nine out of 19 steel categories, while keeping them intact on the remaining 10. However, in order to protect the struggling industry, ministers will introduce a public notice which will set out the details of the temporary extension on a further five of the 19 steel products for one year.
Ms Truss informed the Parliament “The UK Government will always do everything in its power to defend UK industry and jobs and to allow our world-leading manufacturers to compete on a level playing field. Current disruption to industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, threats of dumping and unfair subsidies, and continued trade restrictions in third countries all put UK steel products at an unacceptable disadvantage. The steel sector supports the jobs of over 80,000 people across the UK, including some 35,000 well-paid jobs in steel production, and a further 44,000 jobs supported in wider supply chains. That is why the Government is taking decisive action today by making new regulations to defend jobs in the UK steel industry.”
Ms Truss added “Trade Remedies framework will also be reviewed as an urgent priority to make sure it "is up-to-date, champions World Trade Organization rules and is fit for purpose in the post-Covid world. It is crucial we have the tools in the future to ensure industries are defended against unfair competition and unforeseen surges in imports."
UK Steel praised the government’s move, saying Ms Truss and Mr Boris Johnson have stood up for steel. UK Steel Director-General Mr Gareth Stace said “The Government’s interventions will prevent an anticipated wave of overseas steel flooding our market, that would have cost jobs, investment and our ability to decarbonise as a sector, threatening the UK’s road to net-zero.
To have removed steel import restrictions tomorrow would have cost the sector hundreds of millions per year, as a result of increased import penetration and reduced market share for UK producers.”
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.
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