Following two months of talks, the Trade Secretary met with Commerce Secretary Raimondo in Washington DC this evening and the US announced an expansive removal of section 232 tariffs*, re-opening tariff free access for UK steel and aluminium exporters to the US.
The announcement is good news for the steel and aluminium sectors, which support the jobs of over 80,000 people across the UK. The changes will take effect on 1 June 2022.
In response the UK will suspend rebalancing measures on US products including whiskey, blue jeans and motorcycles.
Both sides have also agreed to work closely to address the wider issue of global steel excess capacity and market-distorting practices.
Today’s announcement will benefit businesses on both sides of the Atlantic and clears the way for us to focus on the next steps for the UK-US trade relationship.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
Today’s announcement is good news for our steel and aluminium industries who have been unfairly hit by these tariffs, and the 80,000 people employed across the sector. It means our manufacturers can now enjoy a high level of tariff-free access to the US market once again.
We have been clear from the start that we would only accept a solution that works for the UK and is in the best interests of both our steel and aluminium industries and this bespoke agreement does just that.
Hopefully we can now move forward and focus on deepening our thriving trading relationship with the US.
Director General, UK Steel 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 steelmakers. This deal is the culmination of months of dedicated work from Anne-Marie Trevelyan and her department, removing long-standing export barriers and opening up access to the important and high-value US steel market.
The benefits of this deal will be felt by steel companies and their employees right across the UK and is immensely welcome.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:
Today’s announcement that the rebalancing measures on US whiskies are to be lifted is very welcome news. The end of these tariffs will provide great encouragement to UK spirits importers, and a significant boost to the UK hospitality industry as it recovers from lockdown.
British drinkers will once again have a wider selection of world-class whiskies to choose from and lifting tariffs will encourage greater investment in the UK spirits industry by the US. Whiskey drinkers on both sides of the Atlantic will raise a glass to today’s announcement.
Allan Bell, British Steel’s Chief Commercial and Procurement Officer, said:
British Steel has a long-standing history of supplying quality steel into the US, and we welcome this agreement and the opportunities it will bring.
We’ll work with UK Government to provide any necessary information and look forward to further strengthening relations with our US customers to deliver the products they require.”