UK steel crisis: Union slams European Commission's low tax on Chinese imports

 
Jessica Morris
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Thousands of UK steel jobs have been lost (Source: Getty)

The steel industry has slammed the EU's failure to impose higher levy on Chinese imports of a steel product which is made in the UK, warning that it could lead to further job losses in the already stricken sector.

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel today warned that the European Commission's decision to impose low-level duties would lead to further job losses in this sector.

It comes after the European Commission set provisional duties on Chinese imports of reinforced bar, or rebar, between 9.2 per cent and 13 per cent. It was the result of an anti-dumping investigation into imports of rebar from China launched in April.

Cheap Chinese imports have compounded the woes of UK steel makers, which have also had to contend with plummeting steel prices, extremely high energy costs and a strong pound which makes exporting harder.

Gareth Stace, Director of UK Steel, said: The Commission’s decision to publish provisional duties at this very low level, clearly shows that the scale of the crisis affecting the European steel sector has not yet fully registered with Brussels bureaucrats."

"Basing the provisional duties on a so called ‘reasonable profit level’ of 1.65 per cent is a slap in the face for UK manufacturers of rebar, which has seen China taking more than 45 per cent of the UK market from zero in as little as four years."

“The Commission’s highly thorough investigation of Chinese exports has highlighted dumping margins in excess of a whopping 60 per cent, however given that the European Commission always imposes the minimum duties possible, unlike the US, then what we end up with are duties that are totally inadequate and may not have any material effect."

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