The Trade Remedies Authority has today (Friday 11 June) published its final recommendation to the Secretary of State for International Trade on the future of the UK’s steel safeguard measure.
After reviewing available evidence, the independent body has recommended the extension of the UK steel safeguard measure across 10 product categories for a further three years, and the revocation of the measure across nine product categories.
Pursuant to the relevant regulations, the Secretary of State will now decide whether to accept the TRA’s recommendation or to reject it.
The TRA published a statement of intended preliminary decision (SIPD) on 19 May, giving producers, importers, exporters, other interested parties and contributors who provided information during the review process, the opportunity to comment on its initial findings. The recommendation to the Secretary of State takes into account close analysis of the 44 submissions that were made to the TRA following the SIPD.
The TRA has recommended the extension of the application of the measure on 10 product categories, ranging from railway materials to the stainless-steel bars used in corrosive environments in the marine and aerospace industries. For all these product categories, there was evidence of both an import surge over the period of investigation (2013-17) and injury to UK producers, and extension of the safeguard measure was judged to be in the economic interests of the UK. Categories recommended for extension represented 37% by volume (around 3.9 million tonnes) of average UK steel and iron imports between 2017 and 2019.
The TRA has also recommended that safeguard measures on nine product categories, including tin cans used in packaging, are revoked. For seven categories there was either no absolute increase in imports or no significant increase in imports over the period of investigation. For one category, there was an increase in imports, but there was no evidence that increased imports were damaging UK producers. For the last category (stainless steel rods), the TRA determined that the potential impact of continuation of a measure on downstream users of the products meant that extending or varying the measure was not in the overall economic interest of the UK. Categories recommended for revocation represented 18% by volume (around 1.9 million tonnes) of average UK steel and iron imports between 2017 and 2019.
Responding to additional information
In light of representations made on the SIPD, major changes were made to two product categories. Category 25 (large welded tubes, used among other things for offshore wind-farms and in the energy sector) was originally set to be revoked. Having assessed