UK Steel comment on SSI announcement

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Commenting on the SSI announcement today, Gareth Stace, Director of UK Steel, said:

“The loss of jobs and the mothballing of steel production in Redcar is terrible and distressing news. We’ve called for an emergency summit with Government to look at what more can be done to support the industry. We’ve enjoyed a lot of tea and sympathy but this summit needs to result in concrete action and support from ministers to reassure the industry and help support its long term future.

“At the top of the list must be a commitment to deliver on its promise and help create a level playing field for British steel by fully compensating the industry for the high cost of electricity caused by the imposition of climate change policies.

“Government can also help ease the burden of business rates for this important strategic industry, where steel companies pay five to ten times more than their competitors in France and Germany.

“Sympathy and warm words are welcome, but Ministers must now get behind British steel and deliver the support that we urgently need. The consequences of inaction would be very serious indeed both for steel, the wider economy and jobs.

”The Chancellor and Ministers apparently discussed the issue of Chinese dumping of steel on their recent week-long visit. I would like to know exactly what the response of the Chinese was and what ministers achieved?

“Government must also press the EU to look at all instances of illegal dumping and the potential breach of EU trade rules. So far the European Commission has been very slow to react to this problem.”

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