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UK steel industry bracing for drop in trade as US reduces tariffs on EU

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The steel industry in the United Kingdom is bracing for a drop in trade starting this month, when European Union competitors will enjoy a 25% price advantage selling to the massive US market.

After government talks failed to win a matching breakthrough, the EU and the US agreed on Halloween to remove tariffs on a quota of steel and aluminum imports from the bloc into the US beginning in January. However, tariffs will stay on all UK steel and aluminum exports.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade minister, invited the US commerce secretary to London for further talks last month, which are expected to take place in January. An industry source, though, expressed skepticism that a deal would be achieved swiftly.

Former President Donald Trump first imposed tariffs on national security grounds in 2018 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act. Imports are said to have harmed the United States’ ability to create its own steel.

British exports to the EU may also be harmed as a result of an extremely harsh clause in the EU-US deal, which states that steel produced in the UK will still be subject to tariffs even if it is worked on and exported by EU firms.