The latest from the Black Country 

Steel Tariffs: UK Firms ‘Collateral Damage’ of Trump Protectionist Push, says Black County Chamber

Corin CraneThe Black Country is home to a large population of manufacturers reliant upon a stable global metals market; the world-class components made across the region mean the supply of quality, economically viable steel is imperative. Currency fluctuations are already a major concern for businesses reliant on steel imports, and yesterday’s announcement will only worsen that. Black Country businesses will clearly now face excessive time and cost increases when importing and exporting these materials.

Commenting following the US government announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: “Many businesses will be concerned by the President’s announcement on steel and aluminium tariffs. The Black Country’s densely populated, high-value manufacturing sector will be concerned about the potential effects on job security in our region.

“Industry bodies across the Black Country and UK had hoped that the President would avoid a blanket tariff on foreign steel, unfortunately this has not happened. As businesses across our region proceed into an unprecedented period of trade uncertainty, the US government has done nothing to mitigate against those fears.

“As a Chamber, we will continue to lobby on behalf of affected members and utilise our strong links with the British Chambers of Commerce to ensure that Black Country voices are heard by the government in Westminster.”

Also commenting on yesterday’s announcement from the US government, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, commented: “It is hugely disappointing that the US government has chosen to push ahead with these tariffs, which will hurt companies and communities in many areas of the UK, as well as their customers in the US. 

“The UK government must reach out to and support the many supply chain businesses that face becoming the ‘collateral damage’ of the Trump administration’s protectionist push. British ministers must also work hand in hand with the EU to avoid any further escalation, and to find a long-term solution.

“As the UK leaves the EU, the American government’s decision to impose punitive tariffs is a helpful reminder that self-interest looms large in trade negotiations. Ministers should reflect on this carefully before they pursue any future trade deal between the UK and the USA.” 

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