The UK steel sector has applauded the extension of protection on certain steel items against lowered import prices, in view of global oversupply.
Government officials in the country have opted to overrule the Trade Remedies Authority that advised maintaining protectionist tariffs and quotas for three years on 10 brands of steel while lifting the measures on nine other products.
The safeguards will make it more costly for British firms to purchase foreign steel that exceeds specific volumes. They restrict steel quantities that can be purchased without import taxes, which were set to expire on Jun 30. The protections were launched by the EU in 2019 when the UK was still a member and covered 19 steel products. This followed former US President Trump’s imposition of import tariffs on steel, which led to global market concerns.
After the UK withdrew (Brexit) from the EU, its government decided to keep the protections for 15 of the 19 products, which is five additional steel products, above the proposed amount. The authority contended it was only warranted for the UK to maintain protections for 10 out of the 19 products.
For comparison, the remaining 27 EU nations have kept quotas in place for the full 19 products for three years.
With the new measures, the UK will agree to a three-year extension for 10 products, per the authority’s advice. Additionally, import restrictions on five more items will continue for a year with imports past the threshold subject to a 25pc tariff.