U.S. and U.K. to Commence Trade Dispute Talks
In a joint statement, the countries said they “are committed to working toward an expeditious outcome that ensures the viability of steel and aluminum industries in both markets.”
The U.K., Reuters reports, “is keen to negotiate duty-free access to American steel and aluminum markets similar to that granted by Washington to the European Union on 1 January as part of a quota deal” reached last October.
U.S. steelmakers cautioned against negotiations with the U.K., and similar discussions with Japan, after imports jumped nearly 50% last year.
American Iron and Steel Institute president Kevin Dempsey said, "We think it is essential that the administration ensures that the various new agreements it is considering do not result in a flood of imports.”
Philip Bell, head of the Steel Manufacturers Association, said in a statement, “It is important that America maintains a strong Section 232 program for the U.S. steel industry at a time when imports are surging, capacity utilization is trending down, and major domestic steel producers are making monumental investments that are modernizing and electrifying our steel industry.”
The countries did not give a specific date or timeline for the discussions.