Downing Street hits back at Donald Trump over steel tariffs threat
Downing Street has hit back at the White House after Donald Trump said he planned to slap huge tariffs on imported steel.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the Government believed "multi-lateral action" was the only way to tackle global over-capacity of the metal.
President Trump sprung a major surprise by announcing that steel imports into the United States would face a 25% tariff and aluminium 10%.
He said he was taking the action to protect the American steel industry, which he said had been "decimated" by global trade policies.
As ever, the maverick billionaire used Twitter to hammer home his message.
A spokesman for Theresa May said the Government were "engaging with the US on what this announcement means in practice".
He said: "As we've said, we're particularly concerned by any measures which might impact the UK steel and aluminium industries. More broadly, over-capacity remains a significant global issue and we believe multi-lateral action is the only way to resolve it in all parties' interests."
On whether this will hamper attempts to strike a free trade deal with America after Brexit, the spokesman said:
"The USA is our biggest trade partner and we invest over £500bn in each other's economies. Over one million Americans work for UK companies and we will remain close partners and continue to work at the highest levels to make the case for the UK industry to the US government."
He added: "We don't yet know if the UK will be included in any tariffs and we are working across government to get to the bottom of this."