The UK’s trade minister has reportedly threatened to impose tariffs on US goods if Trump-era steel duties are not canned.
Trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told US representatives that London is prepared to increase existing retaliatory duties on high-profile US goods including whiskey, cosmetics and clothing the FT first reported.
The US dropped the Trump-era tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from the EU in October, however US President Joe Biden continues to impose tariffs on UK exports.
“We don’t want to use countervailing measures, but we’re getting a lot of pressure domestically to say that this is unfair,” a senior UK official told the FT, referring to the US tariffs on UK steel and aluminium imports which date back to 2018.
A public consultation last year also identified US Lobsters, grapes, chocolate, orange juice and electric motors as possible candidates for higher tariffs.
Trevelyan is meeting her US counterpart Katherine Tai and US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo during a three-day trip to America this week.
Speaking before the engagement, Trevelyan was confident that relations are amicable: “From Teesside to Tulsa, there are huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic.
“We’ve already made strong progress; from getting British beef and lamb back on US plates, to lowering the cost of Scotch Whisky exports by addressing the long-running Airbus-Boeing issue. Now is the time to hit the ground running and get on with boosting ties with our closest ally.”