Steel dumping

A Test of Mettle

In the British town of Scunthorpe, a Tata steel work marks the skyline.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Europe’s steel industry is fighting for survival in the face of state-subsidized products from China. Jobs and technology could disappear from the Continent.

  • Facts


    • China produces half of the world’s 1.6 billion tons of steel, in an industry heavily subsidized by the government.
    • European steel makers are struggling to compete against China’s inexpensive steel, triggering anti-dumping measures and import- tariffs from the European Union.
    • Tata Steel has cut 3,000 jobs in Britain, Arcelor-Mittal is closing down its electro-steel plant in Spain, Vallourec is cutting 3,000 jobs in Europe.
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Luke Keogh is one of hundreds of steel workers from the Tata steelworks in the Welsh town of Port Talbot in the United Kingdom who’ve just joined the dole queue. For him it signifies the end of a dream and the abrupt end of a long family tradition.

“It was my first real job out of college,” explains the 20-year-old Briton, stunned, after his termination.

“My father worked here for more than 30 years, and my grandfather before him.”

The Indian firm Tata is one of Britain’s biggest steel manufacturers, with around 19,000 employees, yet it is crumbling under an onslaught from the East. China, with its massive production capacities is flooding world markets with cheap steel and dragging prices down to undercut production costs in Britain and the European Union.

Tata’s problems in Great Britain are not unique. In just one month, last October, the sector lost 4,000 jobs, around a fifth of the total employed in the steel industry.

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