STEEL CRISIS: East Midlands MEP says she will play '˜whatever part' she can to help Northamptonshire workers
East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin has said she will play whatever part she can to help her Corby constituents who work at Tata.
It comes after Tata Steel said it plans to sell off it’s steel business in the UK, including Corby, as well as other sites such as Rotherham in Yorkshire.
The revelations bring to a head continued news about job losses in the industry over the last several months, with 900 steelworkers in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, among the thousands who have already been affected.
UK steel has come under intense pressure recently with cheap Chinese steel being sold on the world market, below Chinese domestic prices.
It is called dumping, which is unfair, anti-competitive and illegal under World Trade Organisation rules.
Emma has been at the forefront of calls in the European Parliament to speed up anti-dumping investigations, which can take several months of investigations before duties are applied; time which the UK steel sector doesn’t have.
She has been calling for more effort from the Commission to reduce the amount of time it takes to investigate dumping, and retrospectively applying duties once dumping is found to be occurring.
She also recently demanded that the EU use the upcoming G20 meeting in China to insist, alongside other affected countries, that the Chinese Government put an immediate end to their practices of dumping their below price steel on world markets.
Emma said: “I have been warning the Commission from the beginning of this process that jobs were on the line, yet the EU’s current trade defence instruments don’t appear to take account of this.
“Companies like Tata cannot wait for the eight to nine months that it takes to investigate dumping, never mind applying duties.
“I understand that these are complex processes, yet our American counterparts don’t seem to take as long as we do and we, the United Kingdom, are left to clear up the mess.”
She added: “It looks like the UK Government is now considering stepping in to provide financial support for Tata while they try to find buyers for their sites.
“News that Dalzell and Clydebridge sites have found a buyer gives us hope, while Scunthorpe should also follow suit.
“This could give my constituents in Corby some much needed light at the end of what has been a long dark tunnel.
“What this shows is that we have had to rely on our own Government to step in to an area in which the EU should have full competence to sort out a problem and it hasn’t.
“The EU is not acting in the interests of our industries or our highly skilled workers.
“I will play whatever part I can in ensuring that the Commission commits to improving its trade defence and protecting UK interests and the interests of my constituents in Corby.”