Home > Uncategorized > Steel or no Steel?

Steel or no Steel?

1-port-talbot

I am familiar with Port Talbot, having passed through many times on trips to west Wales. In many ways it is a remarkable place being truly completely dominated by the steelworks which for those who appreciate industrial architecture are striking to say the least

This could of course all grind to a juddering halt. The status of Port Talbot and its million pound a day loss making owners are well reported now but there are a number of points that perhaps need some clarity. To my mind they are framed as follows

  1. Is China’s “dumping” of cheap steel simply a result of overproduction or a deliberate policy to drive other producers out of the market?
  2. If it is the former then it is another probable illustration that many Chinese producers are simply trading insolvent with overly compliant banks. This is a repeat of Japan in the 90s. An insight into an economy that is possibly dysfunctional in the longer term\?
  3. Are “emissions taxes” justifiable when they contribute greatly to making a particular industry uncompetitive?
  4. What will be the effect on the EU vote? EU steel tariffs are very low and clearly being in the EU leaves the uk tied. Somewhat controversially, the US applies extremely high tariffs on imported steel
  5. Are we once again sentimentalising heavy manufacturing? Would 3000 jobs lost in advertising attract the same publicity? No and yet advertising is arguably a more crucial industry to the uk being a key specialisation with a certain future

 

 

 

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