The administration announced that import tariffs on steel that were set to expire would remain in place for an additional two years.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, stated that although the plans violated the UK’s “international legal commitments,” protecting steel producers was in the “national interest.”
The decision, she continued, was taken as a result of “global disruptions” to the energy markets and supply networks.
Rising energy costs are putting pressure on British steel makers.
In some regions of the UK, where it generates $2 billion in revenue and employs 34,000 people, steelmaking is a major sector.
The government has warned that without curbs, the supply of steel entering the UK may increase significantly, damaging British businesses.
UK Steel previously said that lifting the import restrictions might result in damage of up to £150 million annually.
Keeping the import restrictions on imported steel will benefit metal makers, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was speaking at the G7 conference this past weekend in Germany.
However, there were worries that such a move may violate international law since the issue of whether to prolong taxes on steel imports was considered as potentially violating WTO agreements.
The judgment “departs from our international legal duties” under a WTO agreement, according to Ms. Trevelyan.
But occasionally, she continued, “problems may occur where the national interest necessitates action to be done.”
In reaction to tariffs levied by the Trump administration, the European Union first placed import restrictions on steel in 2018. Following Brexit, the UK adopted the restrictions.
The limitations, which impose a charge on imported steel after a certain quota is reached, are referred to as “steel safeguards” because they aim to preserve the home market from influxes of cheap steel from outside.
“We need to provide British steel with considerably cheaper energy,” said Mr. Johnson.
15 categories of steel are currently subject to the regulations. Ten of those categories have already had their limitations extended until the year 2024, although five of those categories had their import restrictions due to lapse on June 30 before the administration prolonged them for another two years.