BCC's Laura Cohen Comments on Trade Bill Publication

The following press statement was published by the Manufacturing Trade Remedies Alliance in which BCC participates.

PRESS STATEMENT

Industry and Union Anger at Trade Bill Publication

The Government has announced that it will publish the Trade Bill later on today. This is just hours after a deadline passed for industry and unions to provide feedback on its plan for the Bill. Officials will have no time to analyse reaction to the Trade White Paper or brief their Ministers on industry’s concerns.

The Manufacturing Trade Remedies Alliance, which is made up of trade associations and trade unions, is not happy about the timing of the Trade Bill publication. The Alliance has been campaigning for effective measures against unfair cheap imports, but  concerns it has raised about the Government’s approach have been ignored. The Government plans a very liberal trade remedies system, meaning UK manufacturers will not have adequate protection.

Dr Laura Cohen, Chair of the Alliance said:

“We have been meeting with officials regularly to raise our concerns that the Government’s approach to trade remedies, which will put thousands of jobs at risk. We entered those meetings in good faith, but the White Paper ignored the issues we raised. Today’s announcement that Ministers are pressing ahead with the Trade Bill, clearly without considering our further evidence, is bad news for UK manufacturing”.    

Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary of the Unite Trade Union said:

“The Government needed to give trade remedies a major rethink before publishing the Bill. Unlike in the new EU system, the Government plans to do nothing to maintain labour or environmental standards around the world.  This ultra-liberal approach will open the flood gates to cheap and illegally dumped imports such as steel, tyres, ceramics, glass and fertilisers. There is a real risk our UK manufacturing industries will be devastated costing thousands of well-paid and high-quality jobs.”  

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Contact for MTRA: Tom Reynolds, tomr@ceramfed.co.uk, 07850828717

The Manufacturing Trade Remedies Alliance (MTRA) is made up of the following organisations:

Agricultural Industries Confederation; British Ceramic Confederation; British Glass; Chemical Industries Association; Confederation of Paper Industries; Mineral Products Association; UK Steel; Community; GMB; TUC; Unite

 The White Paper included a ‘Lesser Duty Rule’ and ‘Economic Interest Test’ in the UK’s post-Brexit Trade Remedies System. It did not set out a special methodology to deal with distorted economies (e.g. China). Combined, this means the UK system will be more liberal and open to illegally dumped imports than most other WTO members.

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