The Government has committed to a long-term plan for the UK steel industry after Sajid Javid backed a proposal by the Steel Council.
The body suggested that new research should be carried out to look at ways of ensuring the industry’s long-term future which has been supported by Mr Javid, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Leading figures in the industry have also asked Mr Javid to do more to prevent cheap Chinese steel imports from unfairly dominating the European market.
They are asking for similar action that was taken by US authorities who set a tough example when they imposed high tariff charges on any steel that was sold for a price under the cost of production.
The steel sector has specifically requested that Mr Javid reviews whether the country’s trade defences are up to the task of preventing the swift increase in Chinese exports from having a negative impact on the UK’s steel business.
The trade body that represents the steel sector, UK Steel, said that the Government has made some key progress so far but warned there is much hard work ahead if the future of the British steel sector is to be secured.
However, the body added that it wants more than just survival for the industry. Rather, it wants the British steel industry to thrive with a sustainable long term future in place.
UK Steel added that we need to see a future where the industry is able to compete, invest and grow fairly in the worldwide market place.
Director of UK Steel, Gareth Stace, said that they have repeatedly asked the Government to make sure the UK steel industry is able to compete on a level playing field by removing the taxes that increase energy costs.
He added that he commends Mr Javid for agreeing to many of their recommendations which, once implemented, he believes will ensure a level playing field with competitors in the EU.