UK Steel calls for safeguard to be confirmed

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, issued a statement this week calling for the safeguard system in place in the UK to be fully confirmed by the government. By the end of the current month, a decision is expected on the ongoing review to confirm the future of safeguard measures for five of the 16 product categories involved.

“It is essential that the UK’s steel safeguard is maintained in its entirety. Failure to do so would risk surges in steel imports resulting in significant damage to UK producers, placing jobs, production, and investment at risk. Unilaterally weakening our steel safeguard when the EU and US are committed to maintaining their own would expose UK producers to the full might of growing, state induced, distortions in the global marketplace and could cause as much as £150 million ($183.9m) a year in damage,” Gareth Stace says.

In June last year, the Trade Remedies Authority of the UK suggested the termination of the safeguard measures for nine products involved. The government decided to extend the safeguard for five of these product categories for one year while launching a reconsideration process. These five product categories (quarto plates, merchant bars, wire rod, angles and tin mill products) will now see their inclusion in the safeguard system terminated at the end of June if the government does not make a decision, Kallanish notes. 

“The decision to be made now by the government finishes a process started last year in which ministers provided a temporary extension of the steel safeguard to allow for a meaningful appeal process to take place. This was necessary in order to challenge the Trade Remedies Authority’s (TRA) original and flawed recommendation to slash the scope of the measures, which risked damaging investment in the future of the sector and risked jobs across the country. UK Steel was and remains certain that extending the safeguards to protect a vital strategic industry is not just legally permissible but is economically essential,” Gareth Stace explains.

Earlier this month the European Union concluded its ongoing review, confirming the measures in place and only applying some small adjustments to the system. This move has triggered criticism by steel users and distributors.

Emanuele Norsa Italy