Officials: U.S., U.K. Steel Deal Will ‘Counter Unfair Trade Practices’ by China

WASHINGTON – United States Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai announced a new tariff agreement with the United Kingdom to allow historically based sustainable volumes of U.K. steel and aluminum products to enter the U.S. market without the application of Section 232 tariffs.  

In addition to novel smelt and cast requirements on aluminum, this deal also requires that any U.K. steel company owned by a Chinese entity must undertake an audit of their financial records to assess influence from the People’s Republic of China government. The results of these audits must also be shared with the United States.

Officials said the deal will not only help to ensure the long-term viability of American steel and aluminum industries and protect American jobs but, once implemented, it will also lift retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million worth of U.S. exports to the U.K., including distilled spirits, various agriculture products and consumer goods.

This deal, they said, serves as “another example of President Biden’s commitment to rebuilding and strengthening relationships” with vital allies and partners, while working together to address unfair practices by countries like China.

“Since taking office, President Biden has made it a top priority to rebuild our relationships with our allies and partners around the world as we work to counter China’s unfair trade practices and ensure that America is able to compete globally in the 21st century,” Raimondo said. “Today’s historic deal is a testament to that ambitious goal and will benefit America’s steel and aluminum industries and workers by protecting manufacturing, as well as consumers by easing inflationary pressures in the U.S. By allowing for a flow of duty-free steel and aluminum from the U.K., we further ease the gap between supply and demand for these products in the United States.  And by removing the U.K.’s retaliatory tariffs, we reopen the British market to beloved American products.”

Tai said the deal “delivers on President Biden’s vision to repair relationships with allies.”

“(The deal is) also helping to ensure the long-term viability of our steel and aluminum industries, the communities they support, and most importantly, the workers in these industries on both sides of the Atlantic,” Tai said. “In addition to the U.K. eliminating the retaliatory tariffs against the United States, we have also agreed to continue engaging on the threat posed by carbon intensive non-market excess capacity in the steel and aluminum industries.”