China defends record on steel production

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping

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THE PRESIDENT of China has defended his country’s role in the global steel industry which has seen the collapse of the SSI plant on Teesside.

President Xi said China suffers adversley from the same economic factors such as the international financial crisis and the reduction in demand, just like the UK.

Workers have also been made redundant in China as the country tries to tackle overproduction, he explained at a press conference at 10 Downing Street held jointly with David Cameron.

Chinese dumping of steel, where the product is exported at below market prices or the cost of production, is of significant concern for the industry.

Earlier this month SSI steelworks in Redcar closed with the loss of 1700 jobs and Tata steel in Scunthorpe will axe 1200 jobs.

President Xi said: “The world is facing the over capacity of iron and steel, not just the UK. This is because of the impact of the international financial crisis, reduction of demand and China’s iron and steel industry is also facing excess capacity.

“China has taken a series of steps to reduce the capacity. We have reduced more than 700m tonnes of over production capacity and you can jiust impgine our task of finding jobs for those workers.”

However he warned against knee-jerk protectionism and appreciates the UK’s commitment to free trade.

Mr Cameron said they would help the ailing UK steel industry through energy costs, tax and procurement.

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