On Wednesday, the US’ top trade representative indicated that they are not in hurry to make a deal on lowering tariffs for British steel.
Katherine Tai, Trade Representative for Britain said that the British Steel and Aluminium Exports Border Taxes will be dealt with “when it is appropriate”.
British exporters pay 25% on their steel shipment to the USA.
After a last-year deal, however, their European counterparts can export to the US without tariffs.
Trump-era steel and aluminium tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum levied on European goods were lifted by the US, but they were retained on exports to the UK.
A UK steel exporter already stated that it will shift production to Spain in response. United Cast Bar Limited stated to BBC that it is unlikely production will be moved back to Britain once the US has made an agreement.
- The future of steel in the UK is at risk without US tariffs
- According to the World Bank, global economy is facing a grim future
Ms Tai stated that it took six months for an agreement to be reached with the EU. Washington is also in formal negotiations with Japan over the current metals tariffs.
She said that it was a matter “of pragmatism” when she spoke of the possibility of reaching a trade agreement with the UK.
She said, “We need to find a way that works. But the UK is on our mind and I believe that we’ll take it up when the right time comes.”
Ms Tai spoke at an online forum held by the Institute of International and European Affairs, Dublin.
Washington is concerned that UK’s plan to reverse the trading arrangements for Northern Ireland which were established when the UK left European Union could lead to conflict on the island.
Ms Tai declined to answer directly whether or not the US would link the resolution of the Steel dispute with negotiations about the Northern Ireland Protocol.
She said that the Biden administration will continue to closely follow any developments between Britain, the EU and Northern Ireland on Northern Ireland issues and encouraged both sides to reach a lasting solution.
She said that President Joe Biden and she “care deeply” about the Good Friday Agreement, which maintains open borders to the island.
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