In a session of the International Trade Committee Jude Kirton-Darling, Labour Member of the European Parliament for the North East, today (13/04/15) asked Jyrki Katainen Vice President of the European Commission about the future of Steel on Teesside. Jude asked how the EU's investment plans could support EU foundation industries like steel and safeguard the private investment made to save the Redcar steelworks in the light of increased cheap imports and trade dumping from China. The Commission Vice President said he was aware of the issue and the Commission was looking at what it could do to help the steel sector.
Jude said "In my constituency of the North East England, our last blast furnace at SSI in Redcar, employs directly 2000 people and provides economic benefit to many more, in one of the poorest regions in the UK. EU investment in infrastructure should benefit European industries and workers.
Redcar's blast furnace, which was reopened 3 years ago, is a European success, and a testament to how inward investment can make a positive contribution to working people in Europe. This shouldn't be put at risk by unfair competition".
Jude asked Commission Vice President, Jyrki Katainen, former Prime Minister of Finland and now in charge of growth, competitiveness and investment, what could he do to ensure that people truly gain from globalisation while protecting our industries in Redcar and elsewhere. Mr Katainen's response was positive saying that in the longer term trade deals between the EU and partners such as China would limit their ability to flood markets with cheap imports, a process known as dumping. However, in the short term he said that the Commission was aware of the situation and was looking whether there was anything it could do to assist.