At a meeting Tuesday in Baltimore, the U.S. and the U.K. announced a deal that would remove taxes on British steel and aluminum that comes in below new quotas on the imports. The British agreed to lift retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, including whiskey.
In 2018, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum, calling the foreign metals a threat to U.S. national security — a move that outraged the British, Europeans, and other longstanding American allies. Although President Joe Biden had criticized Trump for alienating America’s friends, he was slow once taking office to undo the metals tariffs, popular in the politically important steel-producing states.
Last year, the Biden administration reached a deal with the European Union, agreeing to drop the tariffs on EU metals that come in below new import quotas and continuing to tax imports that exceed them.
Critics said all along that Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs did little to address the real problem confronting American producers of steel and aluminum: overproduction by China. But the United States already shuts out most Chinese steel.
Under the agreement announced Tuesday, Chinese-owned steel companies in Britain must undergo annual audits to ensure that cheap Chinese steel can’t slip into the United States tariff-free.
American whiskey producers welcomed the resolution to the trade standoff.
“Distillers throughout the United States are cheering the end of this long tariff nightmare,” Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, said in a statement.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released the following statement in response to the lifting of the tariffs:
Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Savannah, Ga., today issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced it was lifting steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018:
“The Biden administration’s move to end steel and aluminum tariffs from the United Kingdom is a welcome development and a positive first step that can help lower construction and housing costs. The administration must now act with the same sense of urgency to negotiate a new agreement with Canada that will eliminate tariffs on softwood lumber shipped into the U.S. With the nation in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, the lumber tariffs are contributing to unprecedented price volatility that has added more than $18,600 to the price of a new home since last August. A failure to act decisively will be a bitter blow for American home buyers and for housing affordability.”
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