US and UK start formal talks over Trump’s steel, aluminum tariffs

The United States and the United Kingdom announced an agreement on Wednesday to begin talks on lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by former President Trump in 2018.

In a Wednesday press release, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai would start negotiations with U.K.’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, to address the steel and aluminum tariffs as well as British-imposed retaliatory tariffs.

“Both parties are committed to working towards an expeditious outcome that ensures the viability of steel and aluminum industries in both markets against the continuing shared challenge of global excess capacity,” the release read.

In 2018, Trump slapped the European Union, Mexico and Canada with steel and aluminum tariffs. The E.U. responded in kind with tariffs on American goods like Kentucky bourbon and jeans.

The Biden administration announced it was easing some tariffs on steel and aluminum for the E.U. last fall, leading the bloc to hold off a ratcheting up tariffs on American goods expected in December.

Rob Maron, of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, told the BBC he was hoping for an “immediate removal” of the tariffs on whiskey.

Maron said it would help “support U.S. jobs as the economy seeks to recover from the harsh economic impacts and significant supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The U.S. and U.K. also explained they had agreed on working together to handle “global steel and aluminum excess capacity,” which they said is “driven largely by China.”

“The United States and the United Kingdom are close and long-standing partners, sharing similar national security interests as democratic market economies,” the statement read. “They can partner to promote high standards, address shared concerns and hold countries that practice harmful market-distorting policies to account.”

Tags aluminum aluminum tariffs Department of Commerce Donald Trump Gina Raimondo Katherine Tai steel Steel tariffs tariffs Trade Trump tariffs United Kingdom United States whiskey

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