Steel: government commissions research on how to protect sector
The government has agreed to a request from the steel industry to commission research on ensuring the long-term future of the sector, which is beset by falling prices and overproduction.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Steel Council, which was set up this year to help deal with the crisis gripping the industry. Indian conglomerate Tata continues to consider bids for its UK steel business.
The business secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Thousands of workers, businesses and communities up and down the country depend on the steel industry for their livelihoods, and I am determined to ensure a long-term sustainable future. That is why the work of the Steel Council is so important in enabling government and industry to work together.”
Tata is close to a deal with the government to keep its UK business, which would secure 11,000 jobs and the Port Talbot steelworks in Wales.
Gareth Stace, director of trade body UK Steel, said: “UK steel producers can compete on quality and cost with the best firms from around the world, but they cannot do so if energy costs are artificially higher and they face unfair competition from dumped steel.”