26th July 2018

Marion Fellows, the MP for Motherwell and Wishaw – home of Scotland’s last remaining steel plant – has today called on the UK Government to provide support to steelworks affected by Trump’s steel tariffs.

Yesterday Trump agreed to “reassess” his 25% tariffs on European steel imposed earlier this year following trade talks with the EU’s Jean-Claude Junker.

President Trump tweeted yesterday ahead of the talks that the EU must “drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies” only hours after his administration committed $12bn (£9.1bn) of subsidies to US farmers to protect them from a trade war.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

Trump’s tariffs will only harm industry and workers here and in the USA. The UK Government must take action and stand up for steel like the SNP has by ensuring support for steelworkers here.

Trump says he wants the EU to drop subsidies only hours after committing billions to US farmers to protect them from the EU’s own retaliatory tariffs. His approach is do as I say – not as I do.

He has said he will “reassess” the tariffs, but this is short on detail and he is known to U-turn in a heartbeat. We need the UK Government to act urgently to protect the industry and workers and mitigate against the fallout of a trade war.

Trump’s tariffs are a blow to free-market Brexiteers who argue that the US will welcome a trade deal with the UK after we leave the EU. The stark reality is that President Trump is not open to negotiate unless he is the only one who stands to benefit from a deal.