Posted: 26 February, 2016 at 10:04 am
MP John Healey is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Steel, which met this week (February 23).
On his suggestion, the APPG has written to George Osborne expressing concerns about under-priced, unfairly traded and state supported imports from China.
They call on the Chancellor to press China to curb overcapacity, reduce state support and stop dumping under-priced loss-making steel on the global market.
China’s 101 biggest steel firms lost $11 billion in the first 10 months of 2015 – nearly $34 of losses for every tonne of crude steel produced in China.
The letter, from chair Tom Blenkinsop MP and secretary Anna Turley MP, says: “We believe strongly that the UK can compete in a free market, however, this is not the current situation we find ourselves in.
“Despite these significant operating losses now being incurred by the largely state owned Chinese steel, there is no indication of a reduction in export levels. In any other country, there would be significant site closures, however this is not the case in China, where their exports have surged by almost 100% since 2013.
“The impact from China cannot be underestimated and is a glimpse into the future, for not only steel, but for other strategically important sectors.”
The letter says the prospects of future growth in steel in the UK had been severely damaged by the loss of capacity and skills, and the costs involved of reopening facilities.
Tata Steel recently confirmed 720 redundancies in Speciality Steels, with most jobs being lost in Rotherham.
In a letter last year, Tata’s European CEO Karl K?hler told Mr Healey that high levels of steel imports was a factor in the decision.
Mr Healey said: “Clamping down on uncompetitive practices from countries like China is one of the things we called on the government to do after the steel summit in Rotherham in October.”