Statement Regarding United States (US) Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports from the European Union

In response to the United States Government’s announcement on 31 May 2018 that they will be proceeding with raised tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, British-American Business Council CEO Duncan Edwards delivered the following statement:

“The British-American Business Council regrets the decision by the US administration to lift the moratorium on the imposition of tariffs on the import of steel and aluminum from the EU. The question of whether having a functioning steel industry is a matter of national security can be debated, but to base this decision purely on national security grounds is a contrivance to live within WTO rules. This is particularly the case given that those countries impacted are amongst America’s staunchest allies and friends; and in the case of the UK, the steel exported to America is largely used in the military.

As a network that believes fundamentally in the power of trade to spread prosperity, we are instinctively opposed to any measures taken by governments that increase financial and non-financial barriers to free and open trade, which we believe will have the opposite effect.

We recognize, however, that the multilateral approach to global trade, developed through GATT and then the WTO, with its asymmetric tariffs and slow and unconvincing dispute resolution procedure is in need of reform. This problem needs to be addressed jointly, in the interest of our nations and people.”

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