Boost for UK steel as MEPs move to stem tide of cheap Chinese imports

Reinforcing steel at a warehouse in Fenyang, China. The non-binding resolution bolsters efforts to prevent steel dumping [Image: John Ruwitch/Reuters].

Reinforcing steel at a warehouse in Fenyang, China. The non-binding resolution bolsters efforts to prevent steel dumping [Image: John Ruwitch/Reuters].

The Tata Steel crisis has at least led to one good resolution (I apologise; the pun was irresistible).

MEPs decided China should not be granted ‘market economy’ status, meaning it will be possible to impose tariffs on Chinese steel, raising its price in European markets.

This could help protect the UK’s domestic steel industry, making it more price-competitive in the global marketplace.

The only fly in the ointment is the fact that UK Conservative MEPs failed to support the motion. Perhaps they believe it is unacceptable interference in the markets?

Or perhaps George Osborne didn’t want anybody interfering with his apparent long-term plan to sell the UK to China, bit by bit.

If the former assumption is true, then someone should point out to these Tories that there is nothing wrong with defending against a hostile act by another producer – especially if the hostilities could lead to the end of the steel industry in the UK.

That would force this country to buy steel from abroad – and would make us powerless to negotiate a lower price than dictated by the seller. The consequences for the UK economy could be devastating.

Tories seem keen to ignore that.

One wonders why.

UK steelmakers have cheered a European parliament resolution opposing plans that they believe would kill off the industry by permanently opening the floodgates to cheap Chinese steel.

MEPs passed a resolution saying China should not be granted market economy status by Brussels, which could make it harder for officials to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese steel. Brussels is due to make a ruling this year.

But Conservative MEPs came under fire for failing to back the motion, while European steelmakers called on the UK to get behind efforts to strengthen the trade defences available to EU economies.

While the resolution carries no legal weight, steel trade bodies welcomed a move that they said sent a message to politicians that the European steel industry needs protection from China.

Source: UK steel boost as MEPs oppose giving China market economy status | Business | The Guardian


Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


4 thoughts on “Boost for UK steel as MEPs move to stem tide of cheap Chinese imports

  1. Phil Lee

    Our tariff on chinese steel dumping should mirror the US one. Look it up! (Wall Street Journal is a good source).
    The maximum that the Tories would allow at the last round of EU meetings was about one twentieth of the US tariff.

  2. John Gaines

    The USA Defend Trade Secrets Bill will allow them to claim any or ALL new Technology across the World, wake -up England! the useless EU pretend they have no knowledge of it We just gotta Get outta that Place or the Yanks will chew us up.

    US President Barack Obama has signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) into law, meaning trade secrets will now have federal protection and be brought into line with other forms of intellectual property.

    Obama signed the bill yesterday, May 11.

    In April, the bill was passed by 410 votes to 2 by the US House of Representatives. Earlier that month, it was passed by the Senate by 87 votes to 0.

    Under the act, owners of trade secrets will be able to secure federal relief for the misappropriation of their knowledge as opposed to going through individual state courts.

    Also, under “extraordinary circumstances”, a judge may order the seizure of another party’s property in order to “prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret that is the subject of the action”.

    Read and Weep.

    1. Joan Edington

      I don’t know what the relevance of this is to the post in question or, for that fact, to the EU at all.

      This bill is merely “creating a federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft, including the availability of a uniform, reliable and predictable means of protecting valuable trade secrets anywhere in the country.”

      The significant words being “in the country”. It seems to me that all it does is centralise the IP of trade secrets within the US rather than deal with them at state level.

Comments are closed.