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Britain presses U.S. for quick move on steel, aluminum tariffs

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan speaks during the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum, in London, Britain, October 19, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, will urge U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Wednesday to launch formal talks on cutting U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum before the end of the year, a senior British official said.

The move comes after Trevelyan told chief U.S. trade negotiator Katherine Tai in Washington on Tuesday that pressure was growing in Britain for a hike in its retaliatory tariffs on whiskey and other U.S. products unless there was a swift deal to ease the U.S. measures, the official added.

Trevelyan will repeat that message at a meeting scheduled in the U.S. capital with Raimondo on Wednesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Britain, which exited the European Union on Jan. 31, 2020, is keen to join a U.S.-EU pact struck in October that allows duty-free entry for “limited volumes” of EU-produced metals into the United States, while retaining U.S. “Section 232” tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum more broadly.

British firms will face increased pressure from Jan. 1, when tariffs on EU goods drop as a result of the US-EU deal. The EU dropped retaliatory tariffs against the United States after the EU deal with Washington.

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