Tag Archives: Chinese

Has British Steel been rescued – or has China gained a foothold in the western industry?

British Steel in Scunthorpe: It seems one reason the plant here has lost a large amount of income was Brexit uncertainty.

China has found a way around high EU tariffs on its steel, by buying British Steel for the bargain price of just £70 million.

It seems that country’s strategy has paid off – the UK industry has been struggling for years after it was said that China was flooding the international market with cheap, inferior steel.

In 2016 the EU imposed tariffs of up to 73.7 per cent on Chinese steel after an influx of cheap imports from Asia forced European manufacturers to cut jobs and lower prices.

But it seems that the damage was done, and it seems the only way the UK could protect 4,000 jobs in the industry, and 20,000 in the supply chain, was to allow a Chinese company to buy British Steel.

Won’t this be a way around those huge EU tariffs – even with Brexit, if a UK government negotiates a favourable trade deal?

And won’t this mean more inferior steel flooding the market, with the safety risks this entails?

From a political point of view, this is a slap in the face for the right-wing parties.

They attack Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour as far-left amateurs who don’t understand economics – but now they are being forced to accept help from the ‘tiger’ economy of the far east, which is run by communists.

It is clear that these Chinese left-wingers know far more about economic imperialism than the Tories.

British Steel is set to announce a rescue deal with China’s Jingye Group, which could safeguard up to 4,000 jobs in the UK.

Jingye Group has agreed in principle to buy British Steel for £70m.

It is understood that the government will help in the form of loan guarantees and other financial support.

British Steel has been kept running by the government via the Official Receiver since May, when the company went into liquidation.

As well as employing 4,000 people at its Scunthorpe and Teesside sites, British Steel supports an additional 20,000 jobs in the supply chain.

Another 1,000 jobs are based in France and the Netherlands – those are included in the deal too.

Source: British Steel to be rescued by Chinese firm in £70m deal – BBC News

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Foreign office officials: Meet the new boss – same as the old boss

Just when officials at the Foreign Office thought they could live without embarrassment for a while, it turns out Jeremy Hunt is just as stupid as his immediate forerunner.

On a trip to China, intended to strengthen trade ties ahead of Brexit, Hunt tried to win the approval of his hosts by mentioning that his wife is Japanese – evoking memories of a centuries-old rivalry and a bloody occupation in the 1930s and 40s.

He backslid fast but the damage had been done.

Good luck getting a decent trade deal now, Jeremy! I only wish I had some knowledge of Chinese so I could describe you in the appropriate language.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s new foreign secretary, has made an awkward debut in China when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife, but accidentally referred to her as “Japanese”.

China and Japan have been traditional rivals for centuries. Although relations have improved somewhat recently, they remain touchy due to issues such as Japan’s bloody occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 40s.

Source: Jeremy Hunt makes ‘terrible’ gaffe about his wife in China | UK news | The Guardian

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Moonlighter Hunt pockets 12 times a nurse’s pay – for no work at all?

There used to be a word for it – what people did when, on top of their main job, they took on another that might be ‘sketchy’ by nature: Moonlighting.

It seems our new health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been moonlighting – and in a very lucrative way – pocketing £366,000 from his Hotcourses publishing firm, and a further £3,000 for lessons in Mandarin Chinese.

That’s more than 12 times the salary of the average nurse, at a time when millions of healthcare professionals are seeing their pay cut in real terms.

Let me make myself clear: I’m not opposed to people having secondary or tertiary streams of income. In these straitened times, I think many people need the extra money just to make ends meet.

Jeremy Hunt does not fall into that category.

He is now a senior government minister, who takes home an extremely large taxpayer-funded salary for that job. Anyone in his position should be devoting all of their working time to public service, and none of it to their own personal concerns.

Hotcourses tells us that Mr Hunt’s earnings with it are entirely from shares and from taking back and then renting out a building previously owned by the company. In other words, for no work at all.

I don’t care. This is still business that must take his attention away from the Department of Health. He should have left it behind.

It is obscene that a Cabinet minister is banking so much money when the people his department employs – people who work long hours under extremely difficult conditions – are taking a real-terms pay cut.

And it illustrates the contrast between pay for the highest-earning in society and the lowest. Recently we all learned that, if the minimum wage had increased in line with that of company directors, it would be nearly £19 by now.

I wonder how much a nurse’s pay would have increased, if it had been allowed to do so at the same rate?