The United States and Britain opened talks on Wednesday aimed at resolving the dispute over tariffs Washington placed on imported steel and aluminum during former president Donald Trump’s administration.
Citing the “serious threat” posed by excess global capacity of the metals, which is largely blamed on China, top trade officials from the two countries said they are “committed to working towards an expeditious outcome,” according to their joint statement.
The tariffs imposed on US allies by the Trump administration caused friction with trading partners including London, which retaliated with punitive duties on American goods.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met virtually with Britain’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and pledged to find “effective solutions.”
The officials “discussed the impact on their industries stemming from global excess capacity driven largely by China. The distortions that result from this excess capacity pose a serious threat to market-oriented steel and aluminum industries in the United States and the United Kingdom, and to the workers in those industries.”
In June 2018, Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from several economies, saying he was acting on national security grounds, a claim rejected by critics.
Washington reached a quota agreement with the EU to remove the tariffs in October, and in November, opened talks with Japan.
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