Steel Safeguards

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade 12:43 pm, 29th June 2022

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for welcoming the statement and supporting the Government’s decision to extend the safeguards applying to these five categories of steel, but I do not agree with his claim that this has been done in a rush. The statement has been made today because the rollover is to take place on 1 July, and it was therefore appropriate to make an announcement this week.

The right hon. Gentleman made an interesting point about the EU’s choice to maintain the safeguards after it was found not to be in breach of the rules. I was unable to be present at the Select Committee this morning—frustratingly—because I was indeed dealing with the international part of these processes as much I could. I will continue to do so over the next few days in order to ensure that our WTO partners and friends understand the reasons for my decision, which I am pleased to hear is supported by the right hon. Gentleman and the Labour party. Obviously we stand ready to take up any concerns that WTO members may have about the decision, but I am certain that it is the right decision, enabling us to avoid as much harm or risk of injury to our steel producers as we can.

The TRA, as an independent organisation, has done an excellent job in examining the challenges faced by the industry. It is also working apace on many issues brought to it by British companies that have concerns, and I am pleased to see it up and running on a daily basis. I meet its representatives regularly, but its submissions to me are made independently, which allows me to make my decisions more broadly.