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March 28, 2022

UK, US aluminium and steel deal sees end of blue jeans duties

Retaliatory tariffs on blue jeans have been dropped as a result of an agreement between the US and UK to remove steel tariffs which the US apparel industry says is “welcome news”.

By Hannah Abdulla

On 22 March the Department for International Trade announced the UK and US had secured a resolution to end the ongoing issue regarding steel and aluminium tariffs with the US.

Following two months of talks, the Trade Secretary met with Commerce Secretary Raimondo in Washington DC this evening and the US announced an expansive removal of section 232 tariffs, re-opening tariff-free access for UK steel and aluminium exporters to the US.

The changes will take effect on 1 June 2022.

In response, the UK will suspend rebalancing measures on US products including whiskey, blue jeans and motorcycles.

Commenting on the move, Beth Hughes, Vice President, Trade & Customs Policy at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, told Just Style: “This week’s announcement that the US and UK have agreed to remove steel and aluminium tariffs, and retaliatory tariffs on such American iconic fashion as blue jeans, is very welcome news.

“While we wish these tariffs had never been imposed and would have been happier had they been removed years ago, any day when such punitive tariffs are removed is a cause of celebration. Tariffs are taxes that ultimately raise prices on consumers. With the current inflationary environment and ongoing supply chain crisis, policies and agreements that lower trade barriers and make it easier to do business are more important than ever.”

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