Message From Wollongong – Turnbull Must Talk Steel In China

Illawarra Labor MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have sent a message to Malcolm Turnbull – don’t waste the opportunity to talk about steel during your visit to China.

The Prime Minister’s trip to China this week will feature discussions on a range of issues including trade and the implementation of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

However, Mr Turnbull has revealed he won’t be talking to President Xi Jinping about China’s over-supply of subsidised steel that is flooding the global market and imperilling steel production in several countries.

Our relationship with China is critical and we want to maintain a strong trading relationship, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up on remaining a steel making country.

With BlueScope having a near death experience last year and Arrium now in voluntary administration it is clear that the Australian industry needs a strong plan for the future.

There are two things that the Prime Minister can ask for during his visit to China this week:

  • A briefing on China’s plans to reduce its surplus production of steel.
  • A briefing on how Chinese and Australian authorities can work together to ensure that Chinese steel isn’t dumped into Australian markets at below production costs.

If he neglects to raise these matters with the Chinese leadership he will be missing out on a valuable opportunity to protect the future of Australia’s steel industry.