Taking steps to ensure UK-produced steel remains competitive and viable
It's more important than ever that we make sure UK-produced steel is competitive and viable in an international market. That's why today I have written to Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, regarding the UK Steel Safeguards.
These Safeguards protect the British steel industry from surges in cheap steel imports by imposing tariffs on foreign imports if they exceed a particular volume each year.
Discussions with the steel industry have made clear that the factors that led to the introduction of the EU steel safeguards (global overcapacity of steel, US 232 tariffs, and increasing protectionist sentiment around the world) are still present, and indeed have been exacerbated at a time of weak demand as a result of the global pandemic. Dropping the UK’s steel safeguard now would be very damaging for the UK steel sector, especially if this were done unilaterally with the EU and the US maintaining their own import controls. The UK would then be one of the few tariff-and quota-free markets for steel in the world, putting us at serious risk of damaging increases in imports.
The UKs current Steel Safeguards are being reviewed by the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) and, should the TRA recommend that the Safeguards be renewed, I'm urging the Secretary of State to accept this recommendation to protect UK steel jobs like those at Stocksbridge Speciality Steels.