UK Steel welcomes tariffs, seeks Brexit transition period

Trade association UK Steel has welcomed the UK government’s confirmation that 15 steel anti-dumping tariffs will be transitioned over in time for Brexit. However, it has called for a withdrawal agreement with a transition period in which the UK Trade Remedies Authority can ready itself to deal with trade cases.

UK Steel director general Gareth Stace says: “We warmly welcome the confirmation from the Government that 15 anti-dumping tariffs crucial to UK steel producers will be transitioned over in time for Brexit. These measures are essential to the future competitiveness of steel production in the UK, ensuring we do not become the dumping ground of Europe in the event of an abrupt departure from the bloc at the end of March.”

“However, this is not to suggest that we believe the UK is adequately prepared to take on full responsibility for trade remedies in just a months’ time. The UK’s Trade Remedies Authority still does not legally exist, lacks substantial collective expertise, and is still in the process of recruitment and training,” Stace says in a note sent to Kallanish.

“UK steel producers are at risk of exposure to unfair trading practises whilst the fledgling Trade Remedies Authority wrestles with this mammoth task and plays catch-up with its EU counterpart,” he continues. “A withdrawal agreement accompanied by a suitably long transition period would provide the Trade Remedies Authority with almost two years to ready itself properly for its new role. It is the only sensible option.”