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US agrees to lift taxes on UK steel and aluminum

The United States has agreed to lift tariffs on British steel and aluminum, mending a rift between allies that dates back to the Trump administration.

At a meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday, the United States and the United Kingdom announced a deal that would remove taxes on British steel and aluminum below new quotas on imports. The British agreed to lift retaliatory tariffs on US exports, including whisky.

In 2018, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum, calling foreign metals a threat to US national security – a move that caused outrage the British, Europeans and other longtime American allies. Although President Joe Biden has criticized Trump for alienating America’s friends, he was slow to take office to reverse popular metal tariffs in politically important steel-producing states.

Last year, the Biden administration struck a deal with the European Union, agreeing to remove tariffs on EU metals that fall below new import quotas and continue to tax imports that exceed them. .

Critics have consistently said Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs have done little to address the real problem facing U.S. steel and aluminum producers: China’s overproduction. . But the United States already excludes most Chinese steel.

Under the agreement announced on Tuesday, Chinese steel companies in Britain must undergo annual audits to ensure that cheap Chinese steel cannot enter the United States duty-free.

American whiskey producers welcomed the resolution of the trade impasse.

“Distillers across the United States applaud the end of this long pricing nightmare,” Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, said in a statement.