Following steel plant closures in the North East and elsewhere in the country UKIP is calling for the introduction of emergency anti-dumping measures on Chinese steel.
The call also follows a ruling by the World Trade Organisation’s appeal body against China, largely upholding a WTO panel decision in February that found anti-dumping duties imposed by China on imports of European and Japanese high-performance stainless steel tubes were in breach of international trade rules.
The European Commission said the verdict was of “systemic importance” as it highlighted “again the shortcomings of Chinese trade defence investigations.”
UKIP’’s North East Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott said that the introduction of emergency anti-dumping measures on Chinese steel is urgently needed.
“If the UK re-activated its full membership of the WTO with full voting and speaking rights, we could make our voices heard right away. Sadly, because we are EU members we must go cap in hand to the European Commissioner on Trade, in a lengthy process necessitating the agreement of the 27 other EU states.
“In the last week thousands of jobs have been lost at steel plants throughout the UK because of two main factors; the dumping of Chinese steel and a British steel industry rendered uncompetitive because of exorbitant energy prices, a consequence of the EU’s obsession with carbon emissions.
“Antonio Tajani, who was EU Industry Commissioner until last year, said that high energy prices ‘are creating an industrial massacre in Europe.’ This is refreshing honesty from the European Commission.’
Mr Arnott continued, “Our membership of the EU has helped cripple our steel industry by pushing up energy prices and preventing us acting immediately at WTO level. Yet another reason to leave the EU’.”