US Trade Chief and UK Trade Secretary discuss steel and aluminum sectors -USTR
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US trade negotiator Katherine Tai highlighted Washington’s emphasis on tackling overcapacity in the steel and aluminum sectors of “non-market” economies during a meeting with the UK Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Tuesday, her office announced.
Tai and Trevelyan stressed the “special relationship” between the two countries and agreed to keep in close contact on trade matters, but did not announce official talks on integrating Britain into a trade deal on steel signed by the United States and the European Union in October.
The US Trade Representative’s office said Tai highlighted ongoing efforts to work together and with other partners to address common challenges posed by non-market policies and practices, including those of China.
The couple also agreed to continue working together on important World Trade Organization (WTO) topics in light of the postponement of the WTO ministerial meeting scheduled for last week, including intellectual property issues, the COVID-19 pandemic and fisheries subsidies.
The Ambassador underscored the United States’ commitment to work with like-minded partners to tackle non-market overcapacity in the steel and aluminum sectors, ensure the long-term viability of the ‘industry and tackle the carbon intensity of steel and aluminum production,’ the USTR said.
The USTR last month launched discussions with Japan over a possible accession to the Steel and Aluminum Agreement, which maintains US “Section 232” tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, while allowing “limited volumes” of EU-produced metals in the US tax-free.
Tai and Trevelyan also agreed to stay in touch on global supply chains and tackling climate change, the statement added.
Britain is also seeking a full free trade deal, but that remains a distant prospect as President Joe Biden has made it clear that such a deal is not a priority.
Instead, Britain is now seeking smaller deals to remove specific trade barriers, resolve long-standing trade disputes and work with individual U.S. states, industry sources have said.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington; written by Ismail Shakil; edited by Tim Ahmann and Richard Pullin