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Steel Industry

Volume 642: debated on Wednesday 13 June 2018

9. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the steel industry in Wales. (905735)

13. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the steel industry in Wales. (905739)

I regularly discuss the role of Welsh steel plants in supporting a successful UK steel industry with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. We remain committed to supporting the sector to remain competitive in a challenging global marketplace.

US steel tariffs represent a major threat to the Welsh steel industry, so what are the Government doing not only to get the US to see sense, but to limit the threat of displaced steel being dumped in the UK and further undermining our steel industry?

The hon. Gentleman will be well aware that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has raised this matter directly with the President of the United States. The Secretary of State for International Trade has also raised it with his counterpart, and I have spoken to the UK’s trade commissioner in the US and to the US ambassador here in the UK. It is only by working with the European Union on these issues that we can bring about the best pressure. I am confident that the UK can play a leading part in those negotiations.

It is estimated that 100,000 tonnes of steel will be needed for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project, so what representations has the Secretary of State made to his colleagues to show that scrapping the project would mean denying the Welsh steel sector that vital opportunity?

We had a series of questions on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon earlier, and we said that the project should only go ahead—I would really like it to go ahead—if it represents good value for money for the taxpayer. The hon. Lady notes the amount of steel that would be needed, but that is less than a month’s output for a major steel plant. The project has an important procurement role, but it should not be overstated.