Express & Star comment: Tata Steel jobs woes reflect economic uncertainty

Tata Steel has come in for some fierce criticism over plans to shed up to 3,000 jobs across its European operations.

Tata Steel is looking to shed more than 3,000 jobs
Tata Steel is looking to shed more than 3,000 jobs

The firm blamed what bosses described as a “severe” steel market for the decision, which has led to fears that plants in the UK could shut down.

The announcement will worry many steel workers and their families, and we can only hope that the workforce is not left paying the price for what appear to be failings at the top of the firm.

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It comes at a time of mixed messages for the UK economy.

Last month we saw Jaguar land Rover posting a huge pre-tax profit as its turnaround plan gathered pace with spectacular results.

Part of the firm’s recent success is down to improved sales in China, and there is no doubt that markets outside Europe will play a key role in Britain’s future post-Brexit.

Jaguar Land Rover is not the only West Midlands firm to see the benefit of forging close ties with non-EU nations.

Wolverhampton-based pub group Marston’s has reached a long term trade agreement with US firm Shipyard Brewing Co, extending the relationship between the two companies until 2034.

Meanwhile, HomeServe has also set its sights on the American market.

On one hand, it shows that businesses from this region are taking the lead when it comes to exploring the opportunities available for foreign trade.

While the EU may be the UK’s biggest trading partner, the latest moves suggest that West Midlands companies are looking beyond the European horizon for their future trade – and the USA is taking pride of place as a potential ally.

There is nothing wrong with showing a bit of optimism.

After all, businesses have spent three testing years waiting for a resolution to the Brexit deadlock.

However, as always, we must be cautious when considering the future prospects for the country’s economic prosperity.

As we have seen, it does not take a lot to plunge the economy into crisis.

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