Government urged to agree global action to curb Chinese steelmaking

Updated: 

Steel industry leaders are calling on the Government to agree global measures to reverse the rapid expansion of Chinese steelmaking capacity, the chief cause of the crisis which has seen the loss of one in six jobs in the UK sector.

A meeting in Paris this week of governments to discuss the steel industry should decide to take action collectively, rather than a divided and uncoordinated approach, it was urged.

Delivering a long term, global solution to the overcapacity of steel is vital to the long term health of the UK steel sector, employers and unions said.

Steel
UK Steel urged measures to prevent a steel industry 'crisis' (Ben Birchall/PA)

Gareth Stace, director, of trade group UK Steel, said: "As the UK steel sector comes out of crisis, we need to do all we can to ensure we don't return to those dark days.

"Dedicated, hardworking and highly skilled steel workers deserve more than this. We have a sector here in the UK with a strong, bright and positive vision for the future."

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, the steelworkers' union, said: "There are signs the UK steel industry is turning a corner but we are not out of the woods yet. The long term future for our dedicated steelworkers is not yet secured.

"If we are to succeed in this global marketplace then our Government needs to back us all the way at home and abroad.

"Global overcapacity is a major factor behind the steel crisis and has already cost us thousands of jobs.

"Without concrete action to tackle overcapacity, particularly in China, there is a very real risk of more and worse pain to come."

A Government spokesman said: "The Government has been working hard to secure a sustainable future for the UK steel industry and we're working with the EU and G20 partners to find a global solution to overcapacity, including introducing trade defence instruments to protect UK steel producers from unfair steel dumping.

"As part of our industrial strategy we have invited the steel sector to propose a sector deal which can deliver long-term growth.

"We will continue to engage with the sector, the unions, the devolved nations and our international partners to secure a long-term viable future for the industry."