While the administration may not be looking to establish new free trade agreements and a voice for agriculture, it continues to find ways to make incremental improvements in trading relationships.
USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a new 232 tariff agreement with the United Kingdom. This deal ensures the long-term viability of the U.S. 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.
As part of a new Section 232 agreement reached Tuesday between the U.S. and the UK regarding steel and aluminum imports from the UK, the 25% retaliatory tariff on U.S. corn has been zeroed out allowing U.S. corn farmers to renew their trading relationship with Britain. The agreement will be effective June 1, 2022.
“This agreement will provide opportunities to expand free and fair trade and strengthen our economic and strategic relationship with one of our greatest allies. The U.S. Grains Council is very pleased with the outcome regarding this agreement because it paves the way for U.S. corn to re-enter the U.K. market once again,” says Ryan LeGrand, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO. “This agreement lifts the retaliatory tariffs on more than $500 million of U.S. products, including U.S. corn, and that is vital not only to global economic development, but also U.S. agriculture’s profitability.”
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, according to the Kentucky Distillers Association. 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 US-UK steel announcement builds on similar deals struck by the U.S. and E.U., as well as the U.S. and Japan, and will strengthen relationships with global partners in working together to boost domestic manufacturing and counter China’s harmful practices that hurt U.S. industries and workers.