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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: American Businesses, Industry and Labor Groups, Praise Historic U.S. – U.K. Tariff Agreement


Following United States Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai’s announcement of a new 232 tariff agreement with the United Kingdom, American businesses and industry and labor groups are applauding the deal, which will allow historically-based sustainable volumes of U.K. steel and aluminum products to enter the U.S. market without the application of Section 232 tariffs.

This deal ensures the long-term viability of our steel and aluminum industries, protects American jobs, and lifts retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million worth of U.S. exports to the U.K., including distilled spirits, various agriculture products and consumer goods. Yesterday’s announcement builds on similar deals struck by the U.S. and E.U., as well as the U.S. and Japan, and will strengthen our relationships with global partners as we work to boost domestic manufacturing and counter China’s harmful practices that hurt U.S. industries and workers.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

“American workers and companies negatively impacted by soaring metals prices and escalating shortages will welcome today’s deal, but further action is needed. When these tariffs were imposed in 2018, the Chamber warned they ‘would directly harm American manufacturers, provoke widespread retaliation from our trading partners, and leave virtually untouched the true problem of Chinese steel and aluminum overcapacity.’ All of that came to pass. This deal marks a step toward remedying these problems.”

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):

“We welcome the Section 232 relief adjustment with the United Kingdom and note in particular the landmark auditing requirement for certain Chinese investment in British Steel. We also believe a significant pause is in order on further adjustments to Section 232 steel measures while the market absorbs recent changes made with respect to Japan, the European Union, and now the United Kingdom. The question now is how the U.S.-E.U. global arrangement will address carbon intensity and non-market production as those negotiations get underway. The Russian invasion of Ukraine should remind us all just how critical the domestic steel industry is to our national and economic security. Section 232 quotas and tariffs have permitted the American steel industry to recover, invest, hire, and contribute robustly to our national defense.”

Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA):

“The Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) is pleased with the 232 agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom announced today. This agreement will help with the problems of global excess steel capacity, transshipment, illegal dumping and subsidies… We are glad to see that the arrangement also includes a requirement to audit Chinese owned steel producers in the UK. This will help prevent favorable Chinese financing and subsidies and thwart China’s attempts to evade fair trade laws by using foreign investment.”

United Steelworkers (USW):

“The USW supports the 232 arrangement between the United States and the United Kingdom announced today as an important step in addressing systemic problems like illegal dumping and global overcapacity that threaten the vitality and future of our steel and aluminum industries. Our union backed the 232 relief measures from day one. They helped spur investment, production and job creation in the steel and aluminum sectors. The 232 arrangement with the United Kingdom leaves the overall structure of the 232 relief measures in place while imposing tariff rate quotas...The administration is making important progress as we work to limit unfair trade and create demand for the products our members make every day. From robust infrastructure investments to negotiating thoughtful arrangements with the EU, Japan and now the United Kingdom, President Joe Biden is helping create good jobs and foster strong domestic industries.”

Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA):

“The Kentucky Distillers’ Association and its 50 member companies today congratulated United States and United Kingdom trade negotiators on reaching a deal to drop retaliatory tariffs on Kentucky Bourbon and American Whiskey. Imposed in 2018, the tariffs reversed what had previously been tremendous growth in Kentucky Bourbon exports to the U.K., costing distillers, industry partners and farm families hundreds of millions of dollars. Bourbon is one of Kentucky’s most historic and treasured industries. It is a $9 billion annual economic and tourism engine that sustains 22,500 good-paying jobs in the Commonwealth with a $1.23 billion payroll…The KDA thanks the Biden Administration’s steadfast leadership including direct negotiations by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. As well, the KDA recognizes and appreciates the critical roles of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman John Yarmuth and the rest of the Kentucky delegation for working to resolve this years-long trade dispute and to restore fairness in the U.K.’s market for Kentucky’s signature distilled spirits industry.”

Brown-Forman Corporation:

“Brown-Forman commends the Biden Administration for today’s tariff agreement with the United Kingdom. As a result of the agreement, American whiskey will again enjoy tariff-free trade between the U.S. and the U.K. as of June 1, 2022…We would like to thank Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan, U.K. International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt, U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Karen Pierce, and their teams, as well as lawmakers in the U.S. and in the U.K. for their efforts to achieve this positive outcome. As the leading producer of American whiskey, Brown-Forman appreciates the Administration’s unwavering commitment to rebuilding the Transatlantic alliance. The removal of tariffs on American whiskey and other U.S. exports creates more opportunities for the continued international growth of our American-made products.”

For details and language about the agreements, please view these documents:

Steel & Aluminum U.S.-U.K Joint Statement