Worldwide: US and UK agree to remove Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum
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On March 22, 2022, the United States and the United Kingdom announcement in one joint statement that the United States will end Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the United Kingdom, effective June 1, 2022, and that the United Kingdom will also lift the retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million of US exports to the UK. Section 232 tariffs were instituted in March 2018 on all steel and aluminum imports from several countries. During the summer of 2018, exclusions were negotiated country by country. In May 2019, with the signing of the USMCA Free Trade Agreement, Section 232 tariffs were also removed on imports from Canada and Mexico. The agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom is the latest in continued efforts by the United States to address the problem of Chinese overcapacity in the steel and aluminum industries. A unique aspect of the US-UK deal is that the US will require any UK steel company owned by a Chinese entity to undertake a financial audit to determine and assess the extent of influence exercised over that entity by the Chinese government. , the results of which the UK must share with the US
Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo said in a statement that it is “a top priority to rebuild[the United States’]relationship with[its]allies and partners around the world” and this agreement is a step toward achieving this goal in a way that benefits the U.S. steel and aluminum industries. Secretary Raimondo also said allowing the “duty-free flow of steel and aluminum from the UK” will help reduce “the gap between supply and demand for these products in the States -United”.
Following Tuesday’s announcement, numerous industry associations and organizations expressed support for the deal, including the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the Steel Manufacturers Association, the United Steelworkers union and the Kentucky Distillers Association. All have been affected by the four years of additional tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the UK and on exports of various products from the United States.
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