The United States has agreed to raise tariffs on British steel imposed under former President Donald Trump.
The agreement comes almost five months after EU negotiators secured their own agreement to terminate the agreement 25 percent duty on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum, which were struck on European goods by Mr Trump in 2018 as part of a transatlantic trade joke. However, the United Kingdom was required to seize a separate agreement to resolve the issue as it had since left the EU.
On Tuesday, Britain’s International Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan confirmed an agreement to lift the sanctions after months of talks with US Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo.
Britain’s retaliation tariffs on U.S. goods including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon whiskey, Levi Strauss blue jeans and cigarettes will also quit.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Today’s announcement is good news for our steel and aluminum industry, which has been unfairly affected by these tariffs, and the 80,000 people employed across the sector. This means that our producers are now again can enjoy a high level of duty free access to the US market.
“We have been clear from the outset that we would only accept a solution that works for the UK and is in the best interests of both our steel and aluminum industries, and this tailor-made agreement does just that.
“Hopefully, we can now move forward and focus on deepening our thriving trade relationship with the United States.”
Ms Trevelyan said earlier that the tariffs had cost the industry more than £ 60 million a year.
In her own press release, Ms Raimondo added: “Since President Biden took office, it has made it a top priority to rebuild our relationship with our allies and partners around the world as we work to address China’s unfair trade practices and ensure that America is able to compete globally in the 21st century.
“By allowing a flow of duty-free steel and aluminum from the UK, we are further reducing the gap between supply and demand for these products in the US. And by removing the UK’s retaliatory tariffs, we are reopening the UK market for beloved US products.”
UK Steel chief Gareth Stace said: “I would like to congratulate the government on behalf of the entire steel sector for its success in these hard-fought negotiations, which have resulted in a hugely positive outcome for UK steel producers.”
He added: “The benefits of this agreement will be felt by steel companies and their employees across the UK and are immensely welcome.”
The changes take effect June 1, and Labor said the move was “longest delayed”.
Shadow International Trade Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “British steelmakers and aluminum producers have had to face four years of punitive tariffs originally imposed by President Trump.
“Ministers have been shaken and delayed, so finally getting these tariffs lifted is a welcome relief.”
He also noted that despite a government promise to secure one U.S. Trade Agreement by the end of 2022, there are few signs of a full-fledged trade agreement between the two countries. The issue is not considered a priority for the Biden administration.