PM seeks to protect steel industry amid high energy costs

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has indicated that steel tariffs are to be extended, despite claims that this could put the UK in breach of current World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

He says that the proposed measures are to protect British industry, and are in line with other European nations.

At the G7 summit in Germany, the Prime Minister stated that he wanted to protect the British steel industry, and his proposed measures would be aligned with protectionist measures implemented by his European counterparts.

Extended tariffs

In response to reports that the UK government will extend the tariffs currently imposed on Chinese steel imports, along with further tariffs on imports from India and Turkey, Boris Johnson stated:

Responding to reports that the government is to extend tariffs already imposed on steel imports from China, supplemented with further tariffs affecting imports from countries such as India and Turkey, Johnson said: “It’s very important people understand the context of this, and that is that the UK steel industry has been going through a difficult time, partly because of energy prices.

“We have a system in the UK where we don’t privilege our industry in the way that some other countries do.

“We need British steel to be provided with much cheaper energy and cheap electricity for its blastfurnaces but until we can fix that, I think it is reasonable for UK steel to have the same protections that absolutely every other European steel economy does.”

Protecting the steel industry from collapse is important as to prevent other industries from faltering as well.

The prime minister’s spokesperson on Sunday stressed that no final decision has yet been taken.

“We’re consulting with foreign counterparts on our proposals before making a final decision ahead of the deadline. That will be made shortly and will balance our international obligations and the national interest,” the spokesperson said.

Find out more

For more information, visit Northern Gas and Power‘s Daily Market Report here.

Below, our Head of Flexible Purchasing and Energy Strategy, Latif Faiyaz, breaks down the key drivers affecting market behaviour this year.

Latif provides analysis of UK, European and global factors and provides a forecast for the remainder of the year.

Here’s the video 👇

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