Donald Trump will still be welcomed to the UK next month, despite Theresa May telling him tariffs on UK steel are “unjustified”.
Trump has hit EU-produced steel and aluminum with tariffs as part of his ‘America First’ plan to protect his country’s manufacturing industry.
In a 30-minute phone call with the President this afternoon, May said the move – which also affects imports from Canada and Mexico – is “deeply disappointing”.
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “The Prime Minister said the US, UK and EU are close national security allies and we recognise the importance of the values of open and fair trade across the world.
“The Prime Minister also underlined the need to safeguard jobs that would potentially be affected by the decision. They agreed to discuss this and wider issues of free and fair global trade further at the G7 summit later in the week.
No10 confirmed the Government was “seeking an EU-wide exemption” not a UK specific exclusion from the policy.
The spokesman added: “They are looking forward to holding further talks at the G7 and holding further discussions in the UK in July.”
Trump’s decision will see a tariff of 25% imposed on imports of steel and 10% on aluminum by the US.
In the Commons this afternoon, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox told MPs the Government was working to make sure the trade dispute does not “escalate” but the EU could hit back with tariffs of its own from June 20.
Labour’s Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner said the Tories had a “record of failure when it comes to defending our steel industry”, while backbench Labour MP John Mann had a novel way of standing up to the US President.
The Bassetlaw MP said: “The only language Trump understands is people fighting back and it’s about time this country fought back. We can do it.
“Golf – he likes golf. Let’s have some golf tariffs on golf owners in Scotland.
“Let’s bring them immediately and stand up for our steel communities and our steel workers instead of this rubbish about how we can do nothing about it.
Trump developed two golf courses in Scotland, which he handed over the running of to his son when he became President.