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British government urged to stand up to U.S. on steel tariffs

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British government urged to stand up to U.S. on steel tariffs

LONDON, June 1 (Xinhua) — British politicians have urged the government to act on steel tariffs imposed by the United States on the country’s allies, saying it could be a “catastrophic blow” to the British industry.

The move came hours after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from exporters including the European Union and Canada.

“We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. has decided to apply tariffs to steel and aluminum imports from the EU on national security grounds,” a government spokesman said Thursday

“We have made clear to the U.S. government at the highest levels the importance of UK steel and aluminum to its businesses and defence projects,” the spokesperson said.

On late Thursday, Shadow Steel Minister Gill Furniss called the move a “recipe for disaster” as she said the British government’s response so far had been “feeble” and “complacent.”

The shadow minister called on Prime Minister Theresa May to “stand up” to Trump and stop letting steel workers down.

“This is a catastrophic blow to the sector and steel workers across the country,” she said.

The British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox earlier said he hoped the United States would think again and “tit-for-tat” action was an option.

The tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, which affect the EU, Canada and Mexico, came into effect on Friday.

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