Monday, 4 April 2016

Chinese Steel Tariffs

So, the Chinese are whacking tariffs of up to forty six point three percent on European steel. That's AFTER Mr Cameron had a quiet man to man word! Very influential fellow then and surprise, surprise the government is trying to play it down.

Of course a trade war helps no one, but being weak isn't the answer either. Nor is dishonesty. The Brexit campaign, comedian Boris in particular, will say that Europe stops us responding but the UK government campaigned in Europe to prevent European Community tariffs on Chinese steel. So we know where the UK stands and its not the fault of the French, Germans, Italians or anyone else.

Our steel industry needs to be protected; if China were to gain a monopoly then prices would naturally rise and that would increase the cost of manufactured goods, girders for construction etc. etc. As well as all the job and skills losses here, benefits payments and on and on. International problems require international co-operation, not isolationism and division. Europe matters and it's time to start thinking about what's best for Europe, that at least gives us some clout, even with the Chinese.

The Chinese can make quick decisions because they're on their own and because they're not even a democracy. Europe needs to raise its game and so does the UK government, but the distraction of the referendum just makes everything worse and more difficult.

The Germans have, within the environmental rules, taken some steps to protect their steel industry. The UK government heaped all the environmental responsibilities, energy costs and business rates on Tata and now they're crying because the Indians have given them the finger. We're governed by morons, but Labour who made the black hole in the first place are just as stupid and incompetent unfortunately. If you think European politicians are worse, think again, the migrant bodge with Turkey suggests they're just as bad, but probably not worse than our self serving madmen.

One can only hope that public opinion will have some effect, because there's more common sense to be heard in many a British pub than in the House of Commons (when there's anyone there!). Of course the Tories will never win in Wales, even if they do save Port Talbot, so not too much incentive there. Wales is split between Labour and the nationalists, that could be a mistake if you're Welsh, try engaging with the rest of the UK a bit more, nationalism is about as productive as leaving the EU just saying!

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