A number of countries in the EU are currently trying to get the lesser duty rule lifted as this would allow higher tariffs to be imposed on cut-price Chinese steel on the world market. The steel industry has blamed Chinese dumping for the crisis, which has culminated in Tata announcing it will be withdrawing from the UK, causing tens of thousands of job losses.
The UK blocked tougher EU trade rules to help the steel industry partly because it could have raised the price of shoes of British shoppers, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid has claimed.
The European Steel Association’s spokesperson has said of the lesser duty rule, ‘the fact that the UK continues to block it means that when the government says it’s doing everything it can to save the steel industry in the UK and also in Europe, it’s not’.
Mr Thomas-Symonds said, ‘It is clear that this is the truth about the Secretary of State’s efforts. I have strong links to the steel industry as my father worked at Llanwern Steel Works for over 35 years. It is disgraceful that the government is not willing to make these changes when thousands of jobs are at risk’.