21 February 2024
Corporate News

Recommendation to extend steel safeguards until 2026

Ships

Today the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has recommended the extension of the UK’s steel safeguards for all 15 product categories currently covered by the measure until June 2026 - a move welcomed by UK Steel.

In a statement today, UK Steel said that safeguards are an essential trade remedies tool to shield industry from surges in imports as a result of trade diversion and distortions in international trade. All the reasons why the UK’s steel safeguards were first introduced are not only still in place, but conditions have in fact deteriorated.

Trump era Section 232 tariffs continue to deflect trade to exposed markets. In a year alone, global steelmaking overcapacity rocketed by 23%, and continues to rise against a backdrop of high costs and weak steel demand. The EU will almost certainly be extending its own safeguards.

The TRA found that if the measures were not extended beyond June 2024, imports into the UK would likely increase causing severe injury to UK producers. 

In a year alone, global steelmaking overcapacity rocketed by 23%, and continues to rise against a backdrop of high costs and weak steel demand

The final decision now lies with the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch MP, and is crucial at a time when significant investment is required for decarbonising the sector amid a challenging market environment.

Responding to the TRA’s recommendation, UK Steel Director General, Gareth Stace, said: “The TRA’s recommendation is a huge relief for the steel sector, knowing that we are one step closer to retaining this vital measure for another two years. UK Steel is delighted that the TRA has recognised that steel safeguards are more than ever necessary to shield the UK from the inevitable trade diversion 
of all the surplus material that will be shut out of other key markets.

“Global excess steelmaking capacity of 630 million tonnes is a shocking 60 times the size of the UK market. Even a small proportion of this steel being diverted to the UK would completely overwhelm our market. Capacity is still growing, mostly state-funded and largely for high-emissions steel."

The final decision is now in the hands of the Secretary of State.

"UK steelmakers and this Government have come a long way in improving our competitive position and progressing our Net Zero ambition.  Letting diverted steel imports unfairly take away our market share would be counterproductive and directly undermine the UK’s decarbonisation efforts and investments. We trust the Secretary of State will recognise this and ensure this key measure is maintained.”

Gareth Stace is Director General of trade organisation UK Steel

Kemi Badenoch at a recent visit to Port Talbot
Gareth Stace

About Tata Steel UK

  • The Tata Steel Group has been named one of the most ethical companies in the world, and is among the top producing global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes. 
  • Tata Steel in the UK has the ambition to produce net-zero steel by 2045 at the latest, and to have reduced 30% of its CO2 emissions by 2030. 
  • Tata Steel is the largest steelmaker in the UK with primary steelmaking at Port Talbot in South Wales supporting manufacturing and distribution operations at sites across Wales, England and Northern Ireland as well as Norway, Sweden, France and Germany. It also benefits from a network of international sales offices around the world.
  • Tata Steel employs more than 8,000 people and has an annual crude steel capacity of 5 million tonnes, supplying high-quality steel products to demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering. 
  • Tata Steel Group is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations and a commercial presence across the world. 

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