Neoliberals would have you believe that any increase in the tariff on Chinese steel is protectionism that would harm the economy in the long run.
But this is nonsense.
It seems likely that China is subsidising its steel industry in order to flood the world markets with cheap product. The aim would be to cripple the profitability – and therefore the viability – of non-Chinese steelmakers, and shut them down.
This would leave China alone in the market and able to set whatever price it wanted.
The Americans have spotted this possibility and vastly increased tariffs on Chinese steel.
Here in Europe, apparently the Commission has launched an inquiry.
How long will this investigation last?
What evidence will it examine?
And will the UK steel industry still exist at the end of it?
Recent history is littered with terrible decisions that have harmed the UK as an industrial nation.
It seems likely that Tory choices over steel will soon join them.
The US is slapping import tax of more than 500% on cheap Chinese steel – putting Europe to shame.
America is taking action to penalise Chinese steelmakers accused of dumping supplies on the cheap.
The stinging 522% duty on steel used to make everything from cars to washing machine could come into force as soon as this summer.
But unions and industry leaders accused the UK Government and European Commission of failing steelmakers here by dragging their feet.
The EU import duty on the sort of Chinese steel is just 16 per cent.
The criticism comes despite Europe ramping-up a “steel war” with China.
Brussels last week launched an investigation into whether Beijing is handing its steel producers subsidies.
The alleged dumping of cheap Chinese exports is partly blamed for crippling Britain’s steel industry.
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