WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to begin talks on removing former President Donald Trump’s import taxes on British steel and aluminum.
In a joint statement Wednesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.K. Trade Minister Anne-Marie Tevelyan said they would be working toward a swift deal that ensures the viability of the steel and aluminum industries in both countries and also “strengthens their democratic alliance.”
In 2018, Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on foreign steel and 10% on aluminum, calling them a threat to U.S. national security — a move that outraged the British, Europeans and other longstanding American allies. Although President Joe Biden had criticized Trump for alienating allies, he was slow once taking office a year ago to undo the metals tariffs, popular in the politically important steel-producing states.
Last year, the Biden administration reached a deal with the European Union, agreeing to drop the tariffs on EU metals that come in below new import quotas and continuing to tax imports that exceed them. The EU dropped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including whiskey.
In a statement Wednesday, the U.K. Department for International Trade said: “Our focus now is on reaching a speedy resolution that lifts these tariffs promptly and clears the way for our thriving trading relationship to grow.″
U.S. distillers are hoping the talks with Britain will lead to an end to the U.K.’s remaining tariffs on American spirits. Chris Swonger, president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, called Wednesday’s announcement “a very positive development.”
Critics said all along that Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs did little to address the real problem confronting American producers of steel and aluminum: overproduction by China. But the United States already shuts out most Chinese steel. So the Trump tariffs dealt out punishment mostly to American allies.
In their joint statement Wednesday, the U.S. and U.K. said they had discussed Chinese overproduction and promised to “hold countries that practice harmful market-distorting policies to account.”
7 Manufacturing Stocks That Will Overcome Current Difficulties
The manufacturing industry was one of the hardest hits in 2020. In the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies were forced to shutter operations. However, opportunistic investors kept their eye on several of these companies as recovery stocks. And at the beginning of 2021, the emergence of several vaccines allowed businesses to reopen. Not surprisingly, manufacturing stocks were among the biggest winners.
But where are these stocks headed in 2022? In December, American manufacturers reported their slowest pace of growth in 11 months. A closely followed index of U.S.-based manufacturers dropped to 58.7% in the final month of 2021. This was slightly lower than the 61.1% in November according to the Institute for Supply Management.
Still, any number of above 50% signals expansion. And the number is only slightly below the 60% level that signifies exceptional growth.
Ironically, it’s the virus that continues to provide a headwind. Supply chains are unwinding but not nearly fast enough to prevent material shortages. The controversy surrounding vaccine mandates is causing labor shortages.
However, there’s a strong likelihood that manufacturing stocks will have a strong year in 2022. And even if they don’t, many of these stocks pay a reliable dividend. That’s why we’ve put together this special presentation on the manufacturing stocks that will overcome current difficulties.
View the “7 Manufacturing Stocks That Will Overcome Current Difficulties”.