Industrial groups and trade unions have come together in a call for strong post-Brexit action against dumped imports.
Seven manufacturing trade associations have been joined by Unite, GMB and Community trade unions in demanding that politicians include strong new ‘trade remedies’ within their manifestos.
Up until now defending UK manufacturing against floods of unfair imports has been the responsibility of the European Commission under rules set out in EU regulations. If the new government doesn’t act quickly to set up the UK’s own trade remedies system British industry could be left defenceless, risking many thousands of jobs.
Ahead of manifesto publication, the 10 organisations set out in a position paper the precise strong action that is needed. They have also written directly to policy chiefs in the main political parties.
The position paper can be found online here.
Dr Laura Cohen, British Ceramic Confederation Chief Executive said: “After years of contraction partly because of dumped imports from China, EU measures have helped our sector to stabilise, invest and employ more people. We need a UK system that can tackle the unfair distortions that disrupt real free trade.”
Andrew Large, Confederation of Paper Industries Director General said: “This is an important report, and it gets to the heart of the adjustments that will be needed in UK trade remedies policy in advance of Brexit. I urge the next government to adopt these recommendations as a matter of urgency.”
Tony Burke, Unite Assistant General Secretary said: “Post Brexit the UK will be responsible for its own trade defence mechanisms which we need to be ahead of the game if we are to protect jobs and British industry.
“Unite, other manufacturing unions and the trade associations which have taken the initiative believe we need robust defence structures which are simple and easy to use to protect decent jobs and our industries such as steel, ceramics, paper and tyres which are susceptible to dumping from countries such as China.
“We want the next government to act swiftly and adopt these recommendations. We cannot have our manufacturing industries faced with continuing uncertainty and bogged down in complex legal processes.”
Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary for Manufacturing, said: “It’s vital that whoever forms the next government must have the right protections in place from day one. After Britain leaves the EU hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs and businesses will be at risk from unfair dumping. Without the proper safeguards, the British market could be flooded with cheap imported steel, ceramics and other materials from overseas.”