The Financial Times has reported that Washington is concerned the UK’s threat to trigger Article 16, suspending part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, could threaten the peace process.
The newspaper said that it had seen a communication in which a US commerce official said the talks on easing tariffs could not go ahead due to those concerns.
However, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman insisted the tariff talks were not linked to the UK’s ongoing dispute with the EU over the implementation of the protocol.
“It is important not to conflate those two issues. They are two separate points,” the spokesman said.
Feile organisers asked if they have warned Wolfe Tones about leading young people in pro-IRA chants
Irish language group Kneecap accused of ‘grooming sectarian hatred’ with Feile mural
Apprentice Boys of Derry: new era of respect makes for enjoyable ‘Relief’ parade
Man in his 20s dies in road crash near Magherafelt
Enjoying the last of sun’s rays as heatwave about to come to abrupt end with thunder, lightning and heavy rain
“On the steel tariffs, we are working quite closely with the Biden administration. It is encouraging that they are taking steps to de-escalate the issue and we are very focused on a agreeing a resolution that removes damaging tariffs, which will benefit businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.
“On the protocol, the US shares our deep commitment to the Belfast agreement and the peace process.
“The actions that we are taking are to protect the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland’s place in the UK single market.”
“These are two entirely separate issues,” Ms Mordaunt said. “We don’t do ourselves any favours if we perpetuate these false narratives.”
The 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium were originally imposed by the Trump administration in a dispute with the EU.
However, while Brussels and Washington reached an agreement in October to suspend the tariffs, British steel and aluminium exporters are still subject to the levies.
Retaliatory UK duties on US bourbon whiskey and other products also remain in place.
International trade minister Ranil Jayawardena said yesterday: “The truth is America’s unjustified tariffs on steel and aluminium and derivatives imports from the UK are unfair and unnecessary.”
International Trade Secretary Ms Trevelyan told MPs a “good deal” with the US is “better than a quick deal”, adding: “We are here when the US are ready to continue those discussions.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.