US-EU deal slashes UK steelmakers’ competitiveness: UK Steel

There is concern that UK steelmakers have been left behind in the process of the US and EU negotiating and reaching a deal over steel tariffs, says UK Steel. Steel made in the UK is seen becoming less competitive in the US versus EU material as a result.

Over the weekend the US agreed to give European suppliers a tariff-free volume quota, beyond which the 25% duty will continue to be implemented (see Kallanish passim). The quota volume is to be determined according to historical trading levels. Negotiations have been ongoing since earlier in 2021.

“The substantial competitive advantage that this deal provides EU steel producers over UK ones will undoubtedly result in our export orders to the US market being lost to EU exporters until such time as the UK Government secures a similar deal,” says UK Steel director general Gareth Stace. “Without this, EU steel landing at US ports, will almost always be favoured over, what will be more costly UK metal. This significantly increases the urgency and need for the UK Government to deliver the exemption from Section 232 measures we have called for since 2018.”

“We welcome the UK Government’s readiness to resume trade talks with the US and we look forward to seeing concrete outcomes that will put us on a level playing field with our competitors. The tariffs reduced UK exports to the US by nearly 50%; a deal is sorely needed to repair this damage to our export interests,” Stace concludes.

Adam Smith Germany