AFTER a roller-coaster fortnight for British steel firms, Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid and the Secretary of State for Businesss, Industry and Skills, gives an insight into the work being done to save the industry.
“A number of constituents have asked me about my work as Business Secretary to support the British steel industry in Port Talbot.
The steelworkers I have met simply want to continue doing what they do so well. My message to them is equally straightforward: I will continue to do everything within my power to save their jobs.
To give a snapshot of my week – I have visited Wales twice to meet workers, unions and Welsh Assembly members, flown to Mumbai to meet the Tata Chairman, met in London with Tata, the Chancellor, Union leaders, MPs, UK Steel and potential buyers, and I have travelled home to Bromsgrove to meet my constituents, speak at a local business lunch, visit a care home and an expanding local business.
The challenges facing the steel industry are vast and complex – globally 30 per cent more steel is produced than demanded.
If we’re to compete, we need a long-term, sustainable solution.
I’m pressing the EU to demand quicker tariffs on Chinese ‘dumping’ of steel. I’ve announced measures for British steel companies to compete fairly for public sector contracts. I’ve also set up a Steel Council – bringing together Government, industry and unions.
A few weeks ago Tata told me that it was considering closing Port Talbot immediately.
I have worked relentlessly to convince them to keep the plant open and find a new buyer.
Coming from international business myself, I am using all of my experience to work with potential buyers to secure this industry.
I will give everything I’ve got to save our steel community, they deserve nothing less.”