Even the Telegraph has turned against the Tories over steel.
Britain’s special relationship with China is becoming more expensive by the day. It now threatens to destroy the British steel industry, a foundation pillar of our manufacturing economy.
Britain is not alone. Most of Europe’s steel foundries are heading for annihilation under the current EU trade regime, with unthinkable consequences through the network of European and British supply chains.
It is hard to pin down the exact moment when George Osborne’s love affair with China turned into a Faustian Pact.
What we know is that the British government has for the last three years been blocking efforts by the EU to equip itself with the sort of anti-dumping weaponry used by Washington to confront China.
What they are blocking is a change to an EU regulation intended to beef up Europe’s ‘trade defence instruments’ (TDI), enabling it to respond much more quickly to Chinese dumping and to impose much tougher penalties.
The outcome is that it still takes Brussels 16 months to crank up full sanctions, twice as long as it takes the US. It is why the EU limits itself to a ‘Lesser Duty’ regime that often fails to reflects the full injury.
While Washington has slapped penalties of 267pc on Chinese cold-rolled steel, the EU peashooter has so far managed just 13pc.
Redcar has already paid the price for this ultra-free trade ideology, and Port Talbot is about to follow. There will eventually be little left if the current drift in trade policy is allowed to continue.
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