Tariffs still a threat

MARKET: Local Member Eddie Hughes has warned that the US steel tariffs could lead to an influx of foreign steel in Australia.
MARKET: Local Member Eddie Hughes has warned that the US steel tariffs could lead to an influx of foreign steel in Australia.

While Donald Trump’s recent announcement that Australia will be exempt from his planned 25 per cent tariff on steel is seen as a positive for Whyalla, it could lead to foreign steel being dumped on our shores.

Member for Giles Eddie Hughes has called on the federal government to ensure this doesn’t happen.

“The wider impact of the tariff will be to shift overseas steel producers to dump on other markets. This would have a devastating impact on our steel industry and in particular the industry here in Whyalla,’ he said.

“The best way to ensure the long-term viability of the Australian steel industry is to invest in modernising plant and increasing scale.

“I have written to the Prime Minster and the Leader of the Opposition urging them to both support actions that ensures the Australian steel industry is not damaged by additional imports.”

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey also spoke out against Mr Trump’s proposed tariffs.

“We should not underestimate the possible collateral impact of an all out steel trade war which could lead to steel intended for the US market finding its way to Australia,” he said.

“The freeing up of trade around the world has been an enormous boom and lifted 2 billion people out of poverty. For Australia it has delivered a world record of 23 years of uninterrupted economic growth.”

An assistance package for GFG Alliance is also on the cards according to Mr Hughes, on that he says will trigger further investment and jobs for Whyalla.

“The final assistance package will come on top of the $50 million that we have already committed. In the meantime we need to do all we can to protect the steel industry and Whyalla,” he said 

GFG Alliance CEO Sanjeev Gupta has been contacted for comment.