The UK and US are in talks to remove “damaging tariffs” from British steel exports, the International Trade Secretary has said.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan is understood to have met several times with US trade representative Katherine Tai in a bid to find a solution that lifts tariffs on steel and aluminium produced on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Cabinet minister’s comments come after the US Department of Commerce said it was “consulting closely on bilateral and multilateral issues related to steel and aluminium” with Britain.
We welcome the Biden Administration’s willingness to work with us to address trade issues relating to steel and aluminium. It is encouraging the 🇺🇸 is taking steps to de-escalate this issue. [1/2] https://t.co/7kSxIQPKJT
— Anne-Marie Trevelyan (@annietrev) October 31, 2021
Ms Trevelyan tweeted: “We welcome the Biden administration’s willingness to work with us to address trade issues relating to steel and aluminium.
“It is encouraging the US is taking steps to de-escalate this issue.
“It follows positive discussions with ambassador Katherine Tai in London, where I confirmed the UK is committed to addressing global steel overcapacity and decarbonisation.
“We remain focused on agreeing a resolution that sees damaging tariffs removed to the benefit of both UK and US businesses.”
In May, the UK started consulting on whether continuing to apply retaliatory tariffs on US steel were in the best interests of the UK economy and its steel and aluminium industries.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) said the results of the review will be published shortly.
In the meantime, officials said the “rebalancing measures” in response to US section 232 tariffs on UK steel and aluminium would remain in place until a permanent resolution is agreed.
DIT said the import taxes on US steel were critical to defend British economic interests and its rules-based system.
The talks on steel come after the UK and US put to bed a long-running Airbus-Boeing dispute in June.
The agreement had been teed up by a temporary suspension in March of related tariffs on UK goods such as whisky, cheese, cashmere and machinery.
As result of the June accord, Washington went further by withdrawing the tariff on single malt whisky tariffs for five years, which had been applied by the Trump administration as part of a trade dispute between the US and European Union countries over aerospace subsidies.