UK/US steel tariffs deal reached

Unite and Community unions welcome agreement, thank American union USW for support

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Trade unions representing thousands of workers in the UK steel industry have welcomed the agreement reached between the UK and US governments on the partial lifting of tariffs on British steel destined for the American market. 

Following two months of talks, Washington last week announced the removal of tariffs for UK steel and aluminium exporters to the US, reversing barriers imposed by Donald Trump. 

Unite national officer for steel Harish Patel, said: “The agreement could potentially safeguard a significant number of jobs in the UK steel industry.

“It could not have been reached without the extensive cooperation and solidarity demonstrated by the US steelworkers union, the USW, towards unions and workers in the UK.”

Whilst welcoming the agreement, UK steel unions noted the EU secured its deal with the US back in October. This led to UK steelmakers suffering a 25 per cent price disadvantage in the US market from 1 January compared with EU producers.

Meanwhile, Japan secured a deal with the US in February.

Operations director for Community, Alasdair McDiarmid said: “The news on the agreement is welcome, but the government must do far more to support our steel industry, notably by acting to cut our uncompetitive energy prices and supporting the investment we need to decarbonise steelmaking. 

“UK steel unions will continue to demand the government address the deep underlying structural issues to put the UK steel industry back on a stable and sustainable future.”

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