Trade advisers recommend that the government should revoke a series of steel quotas for cheap imports, despite warnings that it will hurt domestic producers.
Called “hammer blow” by trade associations, this recommendation was made by the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), an independent business association responsible for protecting the UK industry from unfair competition.
International Trade Minister Liz Truss advised that nine of the 19 categories of steel should be abolished.
The first safeguards imposed in 2018, when the UK was part of the European Union, mean that certain imports are subject to a 25% tariff if they exceed a given quota.
Ms. Truss must accept or reject the recommendation by the end of the month, at which point all 19 safeguards will expire.
Her decision is considered an early test of Britain’s post-EU trade policy.
Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, said the decision was disastrous for domestic producers.
“TRA’s recommendation to cut UK steel safeguards in half is to hurt the UK steel sector and the thousands of people it employs,” he said.
“It’s totally crazy to recommend that steelmakers remove the huge element of protection they demand against import surges.
“In the first major test in the post-Brexit trading environment, the UK’s new system failed in the domestic steel sector.
“Within six months, the UK regime proved unequipped to cope with the rapidly changing global trading environment.”
TRA recommends maintaining protection in 10 of 19 areas covering over 250 products.
Liberty Steel, British Arm with Problems Sanjeb Gupta’s GFG AllianceSuccessfully argued that tariff quotas for large welded steel pipes of the type used for wind turbine pylon should continue to be protected.
However, safeguards in the other nine product areas must be removed in accordance with TRA, which is bound by three standards under the rules of the World Trade Organization.
According to regulations, safeguards can only be applied in the event of a surge in imports in certain areas. Imports are causing “injuries” to domestic industry. And the safeguards imposed are in the UK’s economic interests.
Oliver Griffiths, CEO of TRA, said:
“We listened carefully to all stakeholders through the review and made some important changes to the preliminary decision in light of the new information provided in the last few weeks.”
“This is a very disappointing recommendation from an organization that has fundamental flaws in its composition and mission,” said Bill Esterson, Labor’s shadow minister of international trade.
“We simply didn’t give enough weight to the impact of this verdict on steel workers, their families, and communities that depend on the industry,” he said.
“Hammerblow” advised by government to reduce steel quotas | Business News
Source link “Hammerblow” advised by government to reduce steel quotas | Business News