Trump urged to block UK steel mills from US government contracts in trade deal – News Live

Trump urged to block UK steel mills from US government contracts in trade deal – News Live


 US steel firms have urged Donald Trump to shut British companies out of American government contracts under a trade deal with the UK, we can reveal  In a fresh blow to our industry, the Steel Manufacturers Association has called on White House trade representative Robert Lighthizer to make it difficult for UK steel producers to bid for lucrative supply opportunities  “With respect to government procurement, US negotiators should refrain from making any new concessions in a bilateral trade agreement with the UK,” says the SMA’s evidence to American officials bidding to strike a post-Brexit free trade pact  “In any US-UK trade agreement, US negotiators should seek to maximise provisions that would incentivise the use of US-produced steel in originating steel-containing goods such as automobiles ”  British trade body UK steel said the “starting point for any discussion on a new trade agreement between the US and the UK has to be the removal of the 25% tariffs currently levied on our exports”  Director Gareth Stace warned: “The UK Government must use forthcoming trade discussions to open up access to US public procurement markets  “It is not surprising to see US steel industry opposition to this – various ‘Buy America’ legislation make it all but impossible for non-US steel to be used in public projects – but this clearly needs to be addressed  “There are no such requirements in the UK and any new trade agreement must aim for equal and reciprocal access to each other markets This must include steel.”  Shadow Steel Minister Gill Furniss said: “A potential trade deal which would restrict access to US procurement contracts would be a betrayal of our steel sector and would compound the failures of the UK Government to protect our vital foundation industry ”  Pro-EU campaigners claimed the revelation proved the UK would lose out under a trade pact with the US   Labour MP Stephen Doughty, of the Best for Britain campaign, said: “These revelations show yet again it will be ‘America first, Britain last’ when it comes to our steel industry  “At a crucial time to save our steel, instead of fantasy trade deals with Trump it’s working together with our European neighbours that will endure we have the right safeguards ”  Meanwhile, US carmakers say Trump’s tariffs on UK steel have hiked prices for motorists buying new American vehicles  The President slapped duties of 25% on steel imported from the EU, including Britain, last year  A submission from the National Automobile Dealers Association sent to the US negotiators says: “A new US-UK trade agreement should address the tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from the UK that were imposed last year.  “Those tariffs have increased the cost of steel and aluminium used to manufacture automobiles and auto parts and thus have resulted in higher prices for our members’ customers ”  Community steelworkers’ union general secretary Roy Rickhuss said: “Donald Trump’s steel tariffs are hurting workers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic We now know that prices are rocketing in the US, while steelmakers here in the UK are really starting to feel the pinch  “With a bad-deal or even a no-deal Brexit looking increasingly likely, the Government will be desperate to sign new trade deals with countries such as the USA, but those deals cannot come at the cost of British steelworkers’ jobs  “We need our Government to send a clear message that any US-UK trade agreement must include the removal of the unfair, counter productive tariffs that were slapped on last year  “There can be no deal without steel.”  The Mirror revealed in December how UK steel exports to the US plummeted by 20% in the wake of Trump’s tariffs  British firms sent 73,000 fewer tonnes of steel across the Atlantic in the first nine months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017  We have been campaigning to Save Our Steel since the industry was battered by thousands of job losses and plant closures in the 2015-16

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