The UK Government is facing calls from UK Steel, manufacturers and unions to reverse its opposition to higher tariffs for unfairly traded steel after the US moved yesterday to block Chinese steel dumping.
The US Department of Commerce has slapped prohibitive provisional tariffs of 266% on Chinese Cold Rolled Coil. Its strong response to the threat posed by unfairly traded steel contrasts sharply with that of the EU, which has put provisional measures of between 13.8% and 16% in place.
Gareth Stace, Director of UK Steel, said:
The US is showing the way in which to deal with under-priced, unfairly traded and state supported imports from China. It is acting decisively, swiftly and at a level that stops China dumping steel with impunity. By contrast, the meek and mild response in the EU is looking increasingly inadequate.
It begs the question why the UK Government continues to block EU-level attempts to impose higher tariffs. The UK must lift its opposition to the Lesser Duty Rule so that the EU can aspire to Uncle Sam’s strong stance and stand up to the increasing threat posed by China.
Warm words and limited incremental action are not enough given the crisis conditions faced by steel makers across Europe today.