UK’s Steel Workers Worried over TRA Report on Steel Tariffs
The Mirror reported that UK’s steelworkers have piled pressure on a new trade body to back British products against cheap foreign imports. UK Steel Director
The Mirror reported that UK’s steelworkers have piled pressure on a new trade body to back British products against cheap foreign imports. UK Steel Director General Mr Gareth Stace said “Immediately, the TRA will find itself making its most important decision likely this decade, the decision on the maintenance of the UK’s steel safeguards. Here we will see if the assurances that the UK’s trade defences would not be weakened will hold true. The preliminary decision was extremely worrying and stands to cause huge levels of harm to the UK steel sector. I urge the TRA to think again and to make their first major decision one that protects UK industry, instead of harming it.”
A spokeswoman for Community steelworkers' union said “Right from the off the TRA has a huge decision to make. Do they confirm the disastrous decision to slash our steel safeguards or do they reconsider on the basis of the evidence? Stakeholders from across the sector have provided detailed and technical responses to the preliminary decision and these must be properly taken into account. The fact of the matter is that removing these crucial steel safeguards, which protect us from being flooded by cheap foreign imports, will threaten jobs and put the future of our industry at risk. If the TRA gets this wrong it will mean our post-Brexit trade defence system is not fit for purpose.”
UK Government has launched the Trade Remedies Authority as an independent, arms-length organisation to deal with complaints from UK firms. According to the Department for International Trade, it will help defend UK economic interests from unfair international trading practices and one of its first moves will be to decide whether to accept a recommendation to water-down measures aimed at protecting British steel manufacturers. A 107-page report to ministers recommends axing curbs on half of all imported steel products at the end of June.
Protections were introduced by Brussels in 2018 when the UK was part of EU trade rules, in retaliation for Donald Trump's White House slapping tariffs on steel imports. The EU measures carried on in Britain until January when the Brexit transition ended.