UK steelmakers urge swift US tariff agreement

The start of formal talks between the UK and US to address the US’s 232 steel and aluminium tariffs is welcome news, given the US is the UK’s second largest market. The talks must be concluded swiftly to erase the competitive disadvantage UK suppliers are suffering versus their EU counterparts, after the bloc’s own deal with the US came into effect from 1 January, says UK Steel.

“Given the competitive disadvantage created by the EU deal, it is vital that these talks are concluded swiftly to limit any additional damage to UK producers,” says Gareth Stace, director general of the association representing UK steelmakers. “The tariffs have already reduced UK exports to the US by nearly 50%. Importantly, we hope the UK Government can put its new independent trade powers to full use, building on the terms of the EU’s deal and delivering the best possible outcome for UK producers.”

US Secretary of State Gina Raimondo and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyn met virtually on Wednesday to discuss their shared global overcapacity concerns (see Kallanish passim). Raimondo, Trevelyn, and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will begin formal discussions to address these issues that threaten the industries of both nations. This will include appropriate trade measures and what the UK hopes will be the eventual removal of the tariffs.

According to US government data, approximately 265,391 tonnes of steel products were exported from the UK to the US in 2021. Cold rolled sheet, heavy structurals, large-diameter pipe, and stainless semi-finished steel were the most exported products.

Adam Smith Germany