Tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on UK steel and aluminium shipments to the US are being dropped by his successor, President Joe Biden.
Under the agreement, due to take place from 1 June, the US will replace the 25% tariffs on steel with a quota system. Talks began in January after similar deals in 2021 with the European Union and Japan.
In exchange for the US concessions the UK will suspend extra taxes imposed on US products such as bourbon and Levi’s jeans. Exports by American whiskey-makers dropped by more than half since UK retaliatory tariffs came into effect in 2018.
The policy will let UK metal imports into the country duty-free up to a certain level – the quota – before taxes kick in again.
The UK’s international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the agreement was ‘good news for the steel and aluminium sectors, which support the jobs of over 80,000 people across the UK’.
‘It means our manufacturers can now enjoy a high level of tariff-free access to the US market once again,’ she said. ‘Hopefully we can now move forward and focus on deepening our thriving trading relationship with the US.’
This comment was considered to refer to a possible free trade deal with the US but US officials were not making such a link.
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