MP John Healey is worried time is running out to stop the imposition of tariffs on steel imports to the US.
In a letter to Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, John has set out his concerns ahead of Friday’s (23rd March) tariff role out.
It’s following concerns over steel expansion plans in Rotherham.
An increase to steel import tariffs into the United States to 25% could halt a proposed expansion by Liberty Steel.
US President Donald Trump made the tariff announcement earlier this month which, if put in place, could have a significant impact on steel production across the UK.
Nationally 250,000 tonnes of steel was exported to the US in 2017 which amounts to £360 million of exports.
Exports to the US account for almost 12% of revenue for Liberty Speciality Steel in Parkgate and the introduction of a 25% tariff could mean the business would have to re-consider plans to increase exports to the US.
In the letter John said: “I am concerned that the planned 25% tariff could halt Liberty Steel’s expansion plans. Time is running out, as Friday (23rd March) is the date US tariffs are set to come in to force.
“It has been a tough few years for our steelworkers but with the sale of Tata to Liberty, and Liberty’s plans to boost production and jobs, we were looking forward to more positive years ahead.
“With the US a major market for UK steel, any tariff would have a significant impact and could be a blow to Liberty’s ambitions to increase production.
“A protectionist move like this will be detrimental to global trade and international efforts to tackle the root cause of the problem which is a global overcapacity in steel production.”
The Labour Party has consistently argued for stronger trade defence measures and would stand up for British industry, defend British jobs and challenge unfair practices wherever they occur whether it’s dumping of under-priced commodities on our markets or whether it’s unfair tariffs being levied on our exports.