UK Steel voices safeguard proposal concerns

UK Steel, the association representing UK steelmakers and a number of processors, has voiced its concerns over the government’s proposal published this week for steel safeguard measures.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) proposed that safeguard measures currently in place are maintained, but only for ten out of the 19 steel product categories subject to measures (see Kallanish passim).

“This formal proposal is a hammer blow to the UK steel sector and to the many thousands it employs,” UK Steel says. “The recommendation by TRID to the Secretary of State to remove huge elements of the protection steel manufacturers require against import surges is madness and one that needs to be urgently rethought. The UK will become a magnet for huge volumes of steel imports; it is beyond worrying to consider the damage this could do to the UK steel sector and its long-term viability.”

The association notes, in particular, that eliminating safeguard measures for some products produced locally would represent a risk for local employment. “It surely cannot seem right to anyone to remove protection on steel sections, made in Teesside, tubes, made in Hartlepool, wire rod, made in Cardiff, Scunthorpe and Rotherham, or plate, made in Motherwell,” UK Steel comments.

The association is now calling for the government to review the proposal and ensure safeguard measures are kept in place; a final decision is expected soon.

The European Commission is also reviewing the EU’s safeguard measures to decide whether to extend them beyond June, with a proposal expected soon.

Emanuele Norsa Italy