Community, the steelworkers’ trade union, and UK Steel, the industry’s trade association, have issued a joint call on politicians to ensure that steel is top of the agenda when it comes to trade talks with the USA. This comes in response to the meeting between Jean-Claude Junker and Donald Trump, at which both leaders agreed to work towards ‘free and fair trade’.
This follows a statement from the Commission after a meeting in Washington to improve trade relations. In the meeting there was an agreement to work towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods. In addition there will be work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans. The very last line of the statement reads: “We also want to resolve the steel and aluminium tariff issues and retaliatory tariffs.”
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, and Gareth Stace, Director of UK Steel, said: "We welcome the fact that trade talks are finally taking place at this level, but politicians need to remember that it was Donald Trump’s steel tariffs that lit the fuse in this trade war. Greater cooperation across all sectors of our economies is a good thing, but there can be no lasting trade partnership while UK steelmakers are being hit with 25% tariffs."
Full press release below.