The US is to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the UK, the European Union, Mexico and Canada. The 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium will begin at midnight tonight. The move, revealed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, will affect several key US allies - and Nato members - in Europe. Europe's trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström called it a "bad day for world trade". Mr Ross announced the sanctions from Paris, where he had been negotiating with EU leaders who were attempting to fend off the duties.
Commenting on the confirmation of 25% tariffs on steel exports from the EU to the US, UK Steel Director, Gareth Stace said: "President Trump had already loaded the gun and today, we now know that the US Administration has unfortunately fired it and potentially started a damaging trade war. Since President Trump stated his plans to impose blanket tariffs on steel imports almost three months ago, the UK steel sector had hoped for the best, but still feared the worst. With the expiration of the EU exemption now confirmed to take effect tomorrow [Friday, 1 June], unfortunately our pessimism was justified and we will now see damage not only to the UK steel sector, but also the US economy."
UK Steel's full press release is available here.