Steel is a critical component in the country’s economic, social and environmental sustainability.
We want to know what other industrial and commercial processes are taking place in our manufacturing sector, and how they are impacting our environment and the health of our citizens.
We also want to find out how our industry is benefiting from trade agreements and regulations.
The Irish steel industry employs more than 10,000 people, many of them in our main manufacturing hub in Portrush.
We need to understand how trade with the EU and other countries is affecting our jobs, our productivity and our communities.
So far we have received just one report.
This is a small piece of the story, but the report could tell us much about the future of our industry.
We will have to wait and see how the Commission decides to release the next report.
In the meantime, the European Commission needs to set out what it is planning to do.
There is no easy solution.
We do not have an agreement with the UK Government on trade or the future trade relationship between Ireland and the EU.
In fact, our relationship with the European Union is one of our key pillars in our relationship and we are a strong member of the European Single Market.
It is clear that the Government of the day does not want to negotiate with the Commission, or indeed with the member states.
It will be a major challenge for us to get our own priorities in line with the priorities of the member state, the EU or the United Kingdom.
There are three ways the Commission can do this.
It could agree to open a formal process to engage with the Irish Government to discuss trade and the future relationship.
It can open a dialogue between the Irish and the member governments to get a clear picture of what is at stake, what is going on, and what the consequences of any changes in the relationship are.
It should also provide detailed advice to the Government, the Member States and the European Parliament.
The third option is to issue a directive to the Commission to implement the proposals that it has already adopted, to set up an external process, to start discussions with the relevant stakeholders and to consider whether we have an opportunity to join in this process.
It may be possible to work out a new EU-wide framework for the future in which our industry could play its part.
This might involve some sort of ‘bundling’ of EU products, but it would require the UK to agree to abide by certain EU standards.
If the Government accepts the new framework, the process will be open and we can start to look at how we can make our own contributions.
The UK would also be expected to be willing to take part in any new joint research projects.
A fair deal and a new relationship is clearly not possible in a vacuum.
We are looking forward to the day when we can have a trade agreement with one of the largest trading partners in the world, and that would be the United States.
If that day comes, we would welcome it.