Responding to the recent announcement that the United States will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium tariffs from the European Union, Canada and Mexico with effect from midnight tonight, Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said:
“It is not the UK which has been dumping steel, rather our industry has long been a victim of it. For the Americans to sweep us into their tariffs is utterly unjustified and counter-productive. It’s simply crude protectionism, and a desperately disappointing announcement from a President who likes to talk up his credentials as a businessman.
“I have been arguing consistently against steel tariffs since they were first threatened, meeting both our own trade ministers and the US Ambassador to the UK, Wilbur Ross, as well as consulting closely with the industry body UK Steel. We will now need to consider our response, and this only underscores the importance of securing a really robust set of trade defences as we prepare to leave the EU. Together with other MPs, I am working closely on this with ministers at the Department of International Trade, who I know are committed to delivering the outcome we need.”
A British Steel spokesman said: “US sales represent a small percentage of our exports and while disappointed by the announcement, we look forward to continuing to supply unique and high quality products to our valued American customers and growing global customer base.
“Tariffs will impact on the world market so we’ll continue working directly with the UK Government, and UK Steel, on this matter and to ensure Britain and Europe don’t again become dumping grounds for cheap steel.”