UK Steel Director General, Gareth Stace said:
‘Today’s decision to maintain the UK’s steel safeguard in full once again shows that the Government is backing Britain’s steel industry. Huge credit must be given to the determination and purpose shown by the Prime Minister and the Secretaries of State at DIT and BEIS in ensuring the right result was ultimately delivered. As the UK establishes itself as an independent trading nation, they have taken their duty seriously to stand up for jobs in British steelmaking and for the future of this strategic industry.
‘The Government’s interventions will guard against anticipated surges in imports from trade diverted away from the US and EU markets that will remain shielded for years to come. Such surges would have risked jobs, investment, and our ability to transition to net-zero. With high-paying steel jobs concentrated in Yorkshire, Humberside, and South Wales, maintaining the safeguard is also critical for the Government’s levelling up ambitions.
‘We are aware this extension was not straightforward. Establishing a trade remedies framework for the first time in fifty years was always going to be challenging and the nature of these measures virtually guarantees some opposition from one quarter or another. However, this is not sufficient reason to shy away from using the trade tools now at our disposal and the Government has done the right thing today in staying the course and ensuring the UK’s steelmakers are not left to the mercy of a global steel market that suffers from overcapacity and state-induced distortions.
‘It is vital we now work with partners like the EU, and the US to address the underlying issues that are destabilising global steel markets. Safeguards are not a long-term solution, and the goal here is a global market for steel where we all play by the same rules.’
About UK Steel: UK Steel is the trade association for the UK steel industry. It represents all the country’s steelmakers and most of downstream steel processors.
UK Steel Policy Priorities: A copy of UK Steel’s current policy priorities as well as key facts and figures about the steel sector can be found here
UK steel in numbers:
- Produces 7.2 million tonnes of crude steel a year, around 70% of the UK’s annual requirement (annual demand of 10.5MT)
- Employs 34,500 people directly in the UK and supports a further 43,000 in supply chains
- The median steel sector salary is £37,629, 45% higher than the UK national median and 59% higher than the regional
- median in Wales, and Yorkshire & Humberside where its jobs are concentrated
- Makes a £2.4 billion direct contribution to UK GDP and supports a further £3.1 billion
- Makes a £2.4 billion direct contribution to the UK’s balance of trade
- 96% of steel used in construction and infrastructure in the UK is recovered and recycled to be used again and again