“it is important that any assessment of impact of particular trade measures takes into account a wide range of stakeholder interests. This should involve balancing the interests of producers and consumers, which may sometimes be directly opposed, as well as consideration of the wider public interest.”
That, of course, means consideration of measures such as the anti-dumping and subsidy measures that were in the provisional report published last July.
The methodology for determining whether measures would be maintained or rescinded, again published last July, included a great deal about production—supporting firms’ production, total domestic production, opposing firms’ production—and a great deal about the market, UK firms’ domestic sales and total domestic sales including imports. Those who have solely producer metrics are in the tables that were published last July—the producer application received, the support threshold met, the market share threshold met—and that led to some apparently contradictory decisions. Reinforcing bar from Belarus would have its measures terminated, but reinforcing bar from China would have its measures maintained. Tubes and pipes of ductile cast iron from India would be terminated, but welded tubes and pipes of iron or non-alloy steel from Belarus would be maintained. There were contradictions in what were apparently similar items.
May I therefore ask the Secretary of State—I know the updated version will be published soon—why was no weight given to the consumer interest explicitly? Why was no weight given to the wider public interest explicitly? Why do those outcomes seem so arbitrary for what would appear at face value to be similar products?