As the UK steel industry is engulfed in a crisis about its future, the government insists it’s pressing the EU Commission to act against so-called dumping of steel.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, a business minister was responding to a written parliamentary question from a Labour member of the House of Lords, Lord Morris of Aberavon, about when the government first made representations to the EU Commission about allegations of dumping of Chinese steel.
He also asked when action was taken by the commission, and whether that was effective and prompt.
Over to EU… or the UK?
There have been claims that EU officials have not addressed the issue of cheap Chinese imports with tariffs of just 24 per cent, compared to 266 per cent tariffs in the US, according to the Daily Mail.
But the British government has been accused of blocking EU efforts to power up its anti-dumping measures, according to The Telegraph – which makes the minister’s response even more interesting.
Sky’s political editor, Faisal Islam, has written that Business Secretary Sajid Javid argued in Parliament last month that existing duties were sufficient and punitive tariffs would raise prices and hit other British industries.
In her response, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “The European Commission currently has 37 measures in place against steel products, 16 of which concern imports from China.”
She added the government made regular representations about allegations of steel dumping to the European commission and for example in one case had “raised the steel industry’s concerns that the provisional duties were too low”.
And the UK business secretary had spoken to an EU commissioner about it and received assurance that the commission would reconsider this during the investigation – if the industry could provide evidence.
“Given the current crisis in the steel industry, we continue to press the Commission for faster, more effective action to deal with dumping of steel,” she added.
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