US and UK reach trade deal to end tariffs on UK steel and US whiskey

WASHINGTON — The United States and the United Kingdom reached a trade deal on Tuesday that will remove U.S. tariffs on British steel and aluminum, while the United Kingdom will lift taxes on whiskey, motorcycles and American tobacco.

Biden administration officials have said the UK deal will allow the UK to ship “historic sustainable volumes” of steel and aluminum products to the US without levies imposed under the old Trump administration.

In exchange, the UK will lift retaliatory duties on more than $500 million of US exports to the UK, including distilled spirits, agricultural products and consumer goods.

The deal also requires any British steel company owned by a Chinese entity to audit its financial statements to assess possible Chinese influence and share the results with the United States, according to a statement by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

Tuesday’s deal follows similar agreements the Biden administration has signed with the European Union and Japan in recent months as part of its efforts to restore trade relations with friendly nations strained during the trade war. former President Donald Trump.

The agreement was announced during a visit to the United States by the British Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, to launch new trade dialogues to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

During two days of meetings in Baltimore, Ms. Trevelyan and Ms. Tai discussed issues such as sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, reducing supply chain congestion, decarbonizing their economies, promoting digital trade and supporting national labor and labor rights.

Ms. Trevelyan then met with Ms. Raimondo in Washington to seal the tariff deal.

The 25% import duty on steel and 10% on aluminum from various countries was imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018, who said protecting the US steel industry against cheap imports was a matter of national security.

The tariffs have succeeded in lowering steel imports, but have not led to the steel revival promised by Mr Trump.

The deal announced Tuesday will help lower the costs of imported steel for U.S. users, while discouraging large increases in imports by keeping tariffs on shipments above the agreed level, officials said.

Write to Yuka Hayashi at yuka.hayashi@wsj.com

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