Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Opinion Letters

Government to blame for woes of steel industry

Published 05/04/2016

The lack of action to save the remnants of the UK steel industry beggars belief and demonstrates how in hock the UK government is to the Chinese.

Those in favour of Brexit will undoubtedly blame the European Union, but the blame should be laid firmly and squarely at the door of the Conservative government, whose ineptitude on this matter beggars belief.

The biggest problem facing the sector is dumping by China of steel into Europe.

One reason for this dumping is that many other parts of the world have put heavy tariffs on such exports.

The US, for example, has slapped 236% on Chinese steel. Crucially, India has also introduced tariffs, with steel prices predicted to grow by 15% in the country in the first six months of 2016 as a result. This has led to pressure being put on Tata Steel in India to pull out of the UK and focus on the growing domestic market.

The EU has not introduced measures to protect the steel industry because this is, in fact, opposed by the UK government, which desires to generate positive trade links with China.

Indeed, the government did not seek EU permission for exemptions for steelmakers from green taxes until December, long after German steelmakers had acquired such breaks.

It is a strange world we are in that sees it as appropriate to intervene to bail out the insolvent banking industry at a cost of £1 trillion, but that somehow trying to salvage a steel sector, whose loss would see us become increasingly a plaything of international markets, is somehow acceptable.

ALEX ORR

By email

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph