A trade war is becoming a real threat – this week’s column

The recent developments in what could become a global trade war are certainly very worrying. Donald Trump slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium could have a drastic effect on our steel industry.

Mr Trump has also suggested tariffs could be put on cars coming into the United States if his plans on steel are met with any form of retaliation.

If this becomes a reality then this of course is a major concern for countries in Europe including the UK. And as our area has strong ties with the steel and automotive industry, Alyn and Deeside could also feel the effects of this trade war.

Ever since the Referendum result, key figures of the leave campaign have been placing their faith in free trade arrangements with Donald Trump and the US.

Mr Trump’s ‘America first’ policy however counteracts this stance. He is showing no sign of granting any sort of special favours to the UK, instead making his appetite for a trade war very clear.

The likes of Theresa May, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson all need to build on their apparent strong relationship with Trump and start delivering for our country. We had been promised some sort of special arrangement with Trump but we are instead seeing a real threat to thousands of British jobs linked to UK exports to the US.

We need strong government action now, before entire sectors of UK industry are left wondering who’s next.

I was pleased to recently be informed that Flintshire County Council re-introducing 20% discretionary ‘top-up’ relief, targeted specifically at Charities, Voluntary and Community organisations who occupy small premises with rateable values of up to £6,000.

I have been approached by a number of organisations and charities who have highlighted the financial difficulties they have faced by not being eligible for discretionary rates – the most recent being local Scout groups. I know these organisation will be pleased with these proposed regulations coming in in April.

I am confident that this move by the Council will have a positive effect on the area and will allow voluntary groups and charities to continue the fantastic work they do for our communities.