Government criticised for 'blocking' bid to limit cheap Chinese steel exports
The Government has come under fresh attack over measures to help the crisis-hit steel industry amid warnings of further job losses.
The European Commission announced moves aimed at overcoming "serious challenges" fuelled by over-capacity and dumping of cheap Chinese products.
The commission said it will accelerate anti-dumping measures, adding that removing the so-called lesser duty rule that limits the size of levies that can be imposed on steel imported from China and other markets, would allow higher anti-dumping duties.
However Gareth Stace, director of trade group UK Steel, said: "China shows no sign of stemming the tidal wave of steel exports which it is dumping on the global market.
"While the EU Commission rightly suggests that scrapping the lesser duty rule would bring about tariffs that would actually make a difference, the UK in blocking these changes is effectively saying to China, 'please dump here, you're welcome.'
"It is galling that the UK Government has not taken action itself and has continued to block these changes in the EU, leaving the steel industry on its knees.
"There have been job losses across all areas of the steel industry over the last year and, if Government doesn't support the lifting of the lesser duty rule, further job losses are inevitable."