Daily sippers of skinny organic fair trade coffee may not like to admit it, but the backbone of an industrialised, wealthy and ultimately secure society is steel.
After decades of China selling hundreds of millions of tonnes of underpriced steel to the US, virtually killing off domestic production in the process, President Trump is taking action.
Executives and union chiefs from the US’s decimated steel sector have been invited to the White House for a preliminary discussion before an investigation into the extent of Chinese “dumping”, as it is known. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, set to last nine months, the President will have 90 days to decide on the level of import restriction for Chinese steel.
The US has already imposed a number of prohibitive duties on Chinese steel, imports stood at 30 million tonnes in 2016. The Americans may have far to go, but they are way ahead of the EU, which has total control on the amount of Chinese goods (not just steel) entering the UK market.
The steel price in Europe is at a twelve year low thanks to the amount of low-cost Chinese material flooding into the market. The legendary plant at Port Talbot, which has faced closure several terms in recent years currently runs at a loss of a £1m a day thanks to Chinese overproduction, which currently stands at 400 millions tonnes a year.