It's clear that Donald Trump's tariffs could have a devastating impact on steel communities and the wider UK economy says GMB
Exclusive figures from GMB, the steel workers union, show Donald Trumps’ tariffs threaten 34,000 UK steel jobs.
The protectionist Trump administration has slapped a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminium, citing national security interests.
In total, more than a billion pounds are paid in wages to steelworkers across the country each year.
That adds up to more than £230m paid to the exchequer in tax and national insurance contributions.
The region most at risk is Yorkshire and the Humber, where 9,500 jobs could be hit. [See note 2 for regional break down of jobs and risk to economy).
Just behind is Wales where 9,250 jobs are at risk.
The levies have now been imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico, after they were previously granted exemptions.
GMB’s 101st annual congress took place in Brighton on the 4 – 6 June 2018
Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary, said:
“The Government must act urgently to protect the livelihoods of more than 30,000 steel workers.
“It's clear that Donald Trump's tariffs could have a devastating impact on steel communities and the wider UK economy.
“It's time that Ministers stood up for the steel industry and UK manufacturing, not a President who will only ever put America first."
The steel trade unions cautiously welcome this news and recognise the industrial logic of such a partnership.
This would create the second biggest steel business in Europe which could deliver significant benefits for the UK.
As always, the devil will be in the detail and we are seeking further assurances on jobs, investment and future production across the UK operations.
As a priority, we will be pressing Tata to demonstrate their long term commitment to steelmaking in the UK by confirming they will invest in the reline of Port Talbot’s Blast Furnace No.5.
We must also be assured that ThyssenKrupp’s pension liabilities will be ring-fenced with a cast-iron guarantee that UK steelworkers will never fund German pensions.
We are now seeking an urgent meeting with Tata to fully understand their intentions for the UK in the context of the joint venture.
We are also making arrangements to bring together senior representatives from across the UK to determine our approach to this significant new development."
Union demands Government is not ‘naive and complacent’ as Beijing files complaint with WTO
Britain’s steel industry must be protected from the fresh danger of Chinese dumping across Europe, demands GMB.
Beijing yesterday complained to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about measures used to stop China flooding the EU with cheap steel.
China’s membership of the WTO meant other markets could help enforce anti-dumping measures against them – but that deal has now expired.
GMB, the union for steel workers, has called on the Government to protect the UK industry – and not fling open the doors to further dumping on a bilateral trade basis.
The UK has been cosying up to Beijing by defending them against trade sanctions in EU discussions.
GMB says the Government must not be allowed to sell off the family silver.
Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer, said:
“China says it is protecting its lawful rights and acting to maintain WTO rules.
“We must not be naive and complacent we all know they have not been playing by the rules.
“We have seen thousands of our members put out of work and community's destroyed by them dumping steel all over Europe.
“We once again call for a level playing field.
“We have been saying all along that China's reforms have fallen way short of expectations resulting in overcapacity all over Europe."
Tory minister ‘more interested in penny-pinching than British jobs and industry’, according to union
A Tory defence minister has refused to commit to using British Steel to build new Royal Navy ships.
Mary Glindon MP asked for an update on the building of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships in Parliament , and followed up by asking the Minister if he would commit to buying British, asking:
"Would the Minister also commit to the idea of 'Buying British' in defence procurement and guarantee the use of British steel to build the Navy's new RFA ships?"
Defence Minister Rt Hon Mike Penning MP replied: “The report last week  stated that best value for the Navy is what we need to do, and we must make sure that shipyards bid for the work, and in previous times they haven’t bid.
“Let’s see what the bids are that come forward and see who wins.”
David Hulse, GMB National Officer, said:
"Avoiding the question won't help shipbuilding in the UK - building these vessels in UK yards is absolutely vital and whether they are built with British steel shouldn't even be in question.
"Unfortunately, the Minister seems more interested in penny-pinching than UK jobs and industry.
“He needs to guarantee that British ships will be built using British steel and give the industry a much need boost.
"These ships can and should be built in UK shipyards as part of an alliance such as that set up to deliver the aircraft carriers."
 Sir John Parker's report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-national-shipbuilding-strategy-an-independent-report