Johnson urged to 'put the British back in steel' by Lelliott
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Within hours, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is expected to meet British trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan to seal negotiations on a possible deal that would remove US steel and aluminium tariffs. This comes as Biden rolls back a major Trump-era policy of imposing harsh tariffs on steel and aluminium trade.
On Monday, Ms Trevelyan visited Baltimore in the US for two days of meetings with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to discuss tariffs on steel.
During the meetings, she noted that the US and UK were making “good progress”.
An anonymous source told Reuters that the two trade leaders are likely going to sign an agreement later today.
Under this new deal, the US would remove export tariffs on British steel and aluminium, that were put in place under then-President Donald Trump.
As a response, the UK would promise to drop tariffs on US brands such as Harley-Davidson.
During Trump’s tenure as the US President, the country had imposed a series of tariffs on a range of imports.
In March 2018, Mr Trump imposed a 24 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminium imported from most countries.
According to a spokesperson for the UK Government, two sides had been working “at pace” to resolve the longstanding conflict in US-British relations.
They also confirmed that Ms Trevelyan and Ms Raimondo would meet once again to discuss the issue later on Tuesday.
They added: “We are optimistic that a deal could be reached soon.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Ms Trevelyan stated that she believed a deal on the tariffs may pave the way for the two countries to resume formal negotiations on a free trade agreement that were put on ice when Mr Biden took office in January 2021.
She noted that had “definitely” been a change of approach from Mr Biden and that US was interested in a free trade agreement with the UK.
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She also believed that formal communications between the UK and US may begin at the end of this year, and could be completed in about 18 months.
The US and UK launched formal discussions on the steel and aluminium tariffs last January, as the two countries agreed to work toward “an expeditious outcome that ensures the viability of steel and aluminium industries in both markets.”
The talks will also include UK’s 25 percent tariffs on major U.S. products like whiskey, motorcycles, blue jeans and tobacco, with Britain levied as a retaliatory measure.
Mrs Trevelyan added: “We have worked hand in glove with the US in the last month, looking at sanctions. So I’m very optimistic.”
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