The UK deviates from its “international legal obligations” announced Wednesday and expands quotas and tariffs on five categories of steel imports.
International Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Parliament that this measure would prevent “a serious injury or threat to British steel producers.”
The minister said steel products from Ukraine are exempt from tariffs in order to support Eastern European countries in the fight against Russia.
The main opposition Labor Party welcomed the announcement, but some Conservatives, along with Scottish National Party members, are moving to “go on the path of protected trade” rather than trying to reduce energy costs in this sector. Was dissatisfied with.
After withdrawing from the European Union, the UK rolled over EU trade bailouts, including safeguards for 19 categories of imported steel products. This means that you can import a certain quota of products into a category before a 25% tax is levied.
EU tariffs were first introduced in 2018 as a retaliation measure after the US Trump administration imposed 25% tariffs on foreign steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum.
Last year, the UK government abolished safeguards in four of the 19 categories, but extended the measures in 10 categories by three years.
Protective measures for the remaining five categories: gas pipes, hollow sections, two categories of large weld pipes, and other weld pipes were extended by one year and were scheduled to expire on Thursday.
Trevelyan said it will be extended for another two years ending June 30, 2024, along with ten other categories of safeguards.
National interest defeats international obligations
After reviewing a recent report by the Department of Trade Relief, Trevelian concluded: .. “
The minister condemned decisions on “uncertain geopolitical and economic waters,” including a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and “global turmoil in energy markets and supply chains.” She also emphasized the strategic importance of the steel industry.
Trevelyan acknowledged that the move “deviates from international legal obligations under the relevant WTO.” [World Trade Organisation] “Agreement,” he said, but “problems can arise if national interests need to take actions that may be tense with normal rules and procedures.”
To ensure that WTO members “understand why they made this decision and choose not to impose retaliation on other industries,” Trevelian told Congress “of these processes. We will continue to deal with the international part. “
She also said the government has decided to suspend Ukrainian steel product allocations and tariffs for the next two years.
“It’s not anti-competitive to provide the steel industry with a fair playing field,” said Nick Thomas Simons, Minister of International Trade Shadow, as “a welcome bailout to the steel sector.” Added. He also supported the suspension of safeguards for imports from Ukraine, but said it was “sorry” that the government only announced in “11 hours.”
“I never thought that becoming a free trader in this party would be such a unique and unusual position,” said Conservative Anthony Mangnall, a member of the International Trade Commission.
“We are fully supporting the steel industry,” Mangnar said, but not through protective measures.
“When I came to quote the Secretary of State to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, or any other country that has signed a free trade agreement, about the agreement we have signed, this was Ask what kind of message it means to send. I signed it, “he said.
“I’m worried that we’re on the path of protectionism rather than cutting energy costs,” said Peter Vaughan, a Conservative member of Wellingborough.
“We mentioned Net Zero more often than we mentioned reducing energy costs,” Bourne said, referring to the government’s plans to decarbonize industries, including the steel industry.
“If we don’t have an industry, it’s not good to talk about green steel in the future,” he said.
Former Conservative Minister Christopher Chope doubts the government’s plans to ensure that the derivative industries of his members of Christchurch “can get a clean British steel supply within two years.” I presented it.
“Otherwise, isn’t it necessary to abandon this doctrine of Net Zero, more important than the actual supply of homemade steel for Christchurch people to manufacture and export? “
Earlier this month, Sir Christopher Geidt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom’s ethics officer, resigned and persisted in his partisan role, but after Johnson was forced into an “impossible and disgusting” position over steel tariffs. , Finally resigned.
PA Media contributed to this report.