Brexit could open the door for more cut price Chinese steel risking the UK’s already embattled steelmakers, the industry’s trade group has warned.
The government has resisted attempts by the EU to stem dumping of Chinese steel, which has pushed the UK steel industry to the brink.
As the Tories prepare to cut all ties with the EU, including with protectionist steel policies currently moving through European Parliament, industry body UK Steel has warned Chinese steel dumping could increase.
The warning came after a leaked memo said Britain’s domestic steel industry is a low priority for the government during the Brexit negotiations.
UK Steel director Gareth Stace told Bloomberg he is worried that Britain will become an easy target for steel dumping after Brexit.
He said: “Are we then suddenly going to be the world’s dumping ground for steel, because we actually have a weak regime?”
Jefferies International analyst, Seth Rosenfeld, said without adequate protections steel dumping could increase.
He told Bloomberg: “Unless you believe that China is going to notably decrease exports, which we do not, all other countries will need to race to put up trade barriers or be left the odd man out.
“If the U.K. doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the EU and U.S. in establishing higher and higher trade barriers, this would potentially expose the country to being the next easiest destination to ship steel.”