Labour MEPs back new laws to protect European steel and jobs
17 November 2017
The UK steel industry has faced a number of challenges in recent year’s faces through a combination of rising steel prices, an influx of cheap Chinese steel and spiralling energy costs. The impact of this was strongly felt in Yorkshire which saw job losses at steel sites in Rotherham, Stocksbridge, and Scunthorpe. To combat some of these issues Labour MEPs have been pushing for tougher new EU rules so that duties can be imposed to prevent these cheap steel imports from flooding the market, undermining our steel industry and risking thousands of jobs. Now new EU laws, which MEPs voted for this week, allow for the implementation of such anti-dumping tariffs. It was also good to see that the Socialist group, to which Labour MEPs belong to in the European Parliament, successfully ensured the inclusion of social and environmental factors such as the use of sweatshop labour or lower environmental standards in the methodology for establishing a trade defence measure- a world first for global trade policy. At home, it is no surprise that the Conservative government who have always tried to block trade defence instruments said in early November they will not strengthen UK trade defence measures- ignoring the concerns from the British steel industry. It is a worrying sign for the future of the UK steel industry post-Brexit. Read more here.