US tariffs on UK steel exports were lifted on 2 June, under a deal that was agreed in March.

UK steel and aluminium exporters can start exporting tariff-free up to a specified volume for the first time since 2018.

This restores tariff-free trade of UK steel and aluminium to the US for set quotas, and any exports to the US over the allowed amount will continue to face the tax measures.

The resolution, signed by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan, will bring new business opportunities for companies across the supply chain which employs 80,000 people, the government has said.

Meanwhile, the UK will end its rebalancing measures on a wide variety of US products including whiskey, Levi’s jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

However, according to Politico, the sector fears the deal’s benefits could be ‘undermined’ if the government ‘waters down’ tariffs on certain products that were carried over from the EU after Brexit and which Britain decided last June to maintain for 12 months.

''[A failure to maintain the measures in full would] unilaterally open up the UK to import surges and trade diversion from shielded markets elsewhere, causing an estimated £150 million/year in damages.''

Gareth Stace, director-general of UK Steel

Gareth Stace, director-general of UK Steel, said a failure to maintain the measures in full would ‘unilaterally open up the UK to import surges and trade diversion from shielded markets elsewhere, causing an estimated £150 million/year in damages’.

The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) recommended the UK revoke nine of the 19 EU steel safeguard measures after Brexit and extend the rest for another three years.

However, then-trade secretary Liz Truss ignored the advice and extended another five of the safeguards for 12 months, which means her successor has until 30 June to decide whether to maintain or tinker with the safeguard.

UK Steel wants the current measures to be extended until 2024, arguing the factors that led to the introduction of the measure, including global overcapacity and state subsidies, still exist.