High time you lift punishing steel tariffs over Brexit, Trade Secretary to tell US

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International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan who has said there are "huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic" ahead of a three-day visit to the US. Trevelyan will use her first official stateside trip this week from December 6-8 to New York and Washington DC to bolster transatlantic trade and investment, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said - Leon Neal/PA Wire/PA
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan who has said there are "huge opportunities to deepen the trading links benefiting communities on both sides of the Atlantic" ahead of a three-day visit to the US. Trevelyan will use her first official stateside trip this week from December 6-8 to New York and Washington DC to bolster transatlantic trade and investment, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said - Leon Neal/PA Wire/PA

The International Trade Secretary will this week tell the US it is "high time" to lift punishing tariffs on British steel amid claims Brexit tensions have prevented a deal from being struck.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan is to use her first official trip to the US to call on the Joe Biden administration to resolve the steel row and call for a deepening of trade ties between the two countries.

She will also use meetings with key members of the administration to push for reform of the World Trade Organisation and attempt to re-establish momentum around a UK-US trade deal, talk of which has stalled since Mr Biden was elected.

Ms Trevelyan will begin her visit on Monday by meeting international investors in New York, before heading to Washington to meet Katherine Thai, the US trade representative, and members of Congress the following day.

The key moment is expected to be a meeting on Wednesday with Gina Raimondo, the US commerce secretary, during which she will push for an end to tariffs imposed on British steel and aluminium.

The Donald Trump-era tariffs of 25 per cent on steel products and 10 per cent on aluminium were imposed on the EU in 2018, when the UK was still part of the bloc.

The US has now lifted tariffs on EU steel but has failed to do the same for the UK, with the Financial Times reporting last week that post-Brexit tensions with the EU over Northern Ireland were partially behind the delay.

Ministers have acknowledged that some US figures harbour concerns over the UK’s approach to Northern Ireland, but insist the trade dispute with the US is “entirely separate” to discussions on Brexit.

Speaking ahead of the visit, a Whitehall source told The Telegraph: “We want to see tariffs dropped on both sides. But it needs to be on terms that work for the UK steel industry.

“It's good their department of commerce released a statement recently saying the administration will engage with the UK on trade issues like aluminium and steel. Now it's high time we get on and sort this issue.”

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