A Sheffield MP has said steel tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump could be a 'catastrophic blow' to the UK industry.
Shadow Steel Minister and Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP, Gill Furniss, was responding to news announced today that the US Government are to impose 25 per cent tariff on steel imported from the EU.
Calling the move a 'recipe for disaster', she said the UK Government's response so far had been 'feeble' and 'complacent' - and called on Theresa may to 'stand up' to Trump and stop letting steelworkers down.
She said: "This is a catastrophic blow to the sector and steelworkers across the country.
‘’A trade war is not the answer to the serious issue of global overcapacity that is affecting steel producers. Trump’s tariffs are a recipe for disaster – everybody will lose out.
‘’Theresa May and her Government have approached the ongoing crisis with utter complacency and have proved too feeble to stand up to Trump when it was most needed. They have let our steelworkers down.
‘’The Government has lots of questions to answer. It must urgently come before Parliament with a clear strategy on what action it will take support the sector and to avert a national disaster.’’
As well as the steel tariff, the US has also said it will impose a 10 per cent cost on aluminium imports, sparking fears of a global trade war.
A UK Government spokesman said: "We are deeply disappointed that the US has decided to apply tariffs to steel and aluminium imports from the EU on national security grounds.
"The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the US and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium.
"We have made clear to the US Government at the highest levels the importance of UK steel and aluminium to its businesses and defence projects. We will continue to work closely with the EU and US administration to achieve a permanent exemption and to ensure that UK workers are protected and safeguarded."