News April 2016

1 April 2016


Tata has accused David Cameron of sleepwalking into the steel crisis by helping China to block EU efforts to increase tariffs on its cheap imports. An executive from the Indian group told a Commons committee weeks ago that British support for China could lead to an “even greater steel crisis”, according to a transcript. Senior Tata officials are said to be amazed at the prime minister’s failure to heed their warnings that China would dump cheap steel on the market, undercutting Britain. EU officials are also privately critical of Britain over its reluctance to raise tariffs for China, which it has been wooing to try to generate better trade links. Britain did not seek EU permission to give steelmakers exemptions from green taxes on power consumption in earnest until December, long after German steelmakers had secured the breaks. The government instead put priority on subsidies for the Chinese-backed Hinkley Point nuclear project. “For over three years, Britain was more concerned about getting subsidies for Hinkley Point past Brussels,” an industry source said. “That changed late in 2015 but the damage was done.”

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Posted: 1 April 2016