U.S., UK agree to start talks to resolve steel, aluminum dispute By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker cuts a piece from a steel coil at the Novolipetsk Steel PAO steel mill in Farrell, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

By David Lawder and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Britain on Wednesday agreed to launch talks aimed at resolving their trade dispute over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, the countries said in a joint statement.

No specific date or timeline was given for the talks but discussions will address “global steel and aluminum excess capacity, including the United States’ application of tariffs” on the metals from Britain.

The talks also will cover the UK’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, the countries said.

“Both parties are committed to working towards an expeditious outcome that ensures the viability of steel and aluminum industries in both markets against the continuing shared challenge of global excess capacity and strengthens their democratic alliance,” the countries said in the joint statement.

The announcement came after a virtual meeting between U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and UK Secretary of State for International Trade to discuss the tariffs, a meeting reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai also signed onto the joint statement.

Britain is keen to negotiate the same duty-free access to American steel and aluminum markets that Washington granted to the European Union on Jan. 1 as part of a quota deal reached last October.

The metals tariffs – 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum – were first imposed in March 2018 by former President Donald Trump on national security grounds and have been a major transatlantic trade irritant since then.

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