Commenting on the Secretary of State’s announcement and publication of the definitive list of trade remedies measures to be transitioned after Brexit, UK Steel Director General, Gareth Stace, commented: “We warmly welcome the confirmation from the Government that 15 anti-dumping tariffs crucial to UK steel producers will be transitioned over in time for Brexit. These measures are essential to the future competitiveness of steel production in the UK, ensuring we do not become the dumping ground of Europe in the event of an abrupt departure from the bloc at the end of March.
“However, this is not to suggest that we believe the UK is adequately prepared to take on full responsibility for trade remedies in just a months’ time. The UK’s Trade Remedies Authority still does not legally exist, lacks substantial collective expertise, and is still in the process of recruitment and training.
“Even a highly experienced authority would struggle with the sheer volume and complexity of reviewing all the transitioned measures, implementation of the UK’s new steel safeguards as well as taking on a brand new investigation into dumping and subsidies. UK steel producers are at risk of exposure to unfair trading practises whilst the fledgling Trade Remedies Authority wrestles with this mammoth task and plays catch-up with its EU counterpart.
“This is yet another example exposing the sheer folly of a no-deal Brexit. A withdrawal agreement accompanied by a suitably long transition period would provide the Trade Remedies Authority with almost two years to ready itself properly for its new role. It is the only sensible option. “