US Reaches Deal With Japan to Cut Tariffs on Japanese Steel Imports - Biden Admin

© AFP 2022 / MANDEL NGANPedestrians pass infront of US and Japan flags on the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House on April 27, 2015 in Washington, DC
Pedestrians pass infront of US and Japan flags on the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House on April 27, 2015 in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.02.2022
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WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - The United States will cut tariffs on Japanese steel imports to grow trade and relations with Tokyo and circumvent China’s "unfair practices," the departments of Trade and Commerce said.
"This agreement, combined with last year’s resolution with the European Union, will help us work together with Japan to combat China’s anti-competitive, non-market trade actions in the steel sector, while helping us reach President Biden’s ambitious global climate agenda," US Trade Representative Katharine Tai said in a statement on Monday.
Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced a new tariff agreement with Japan that allows historically-based sustainable volumes of Japanese steel products to enter US markets without duty.
The statement said the deal will help ensure the long-term viability of the US steel sector and protect American jobs while giving relief to manufacturers in the United States seeking readily accessible, affordable steel to make their products.
Raimondo said the tariffs had been a major irritant to US ties with Japan, one of Washington’s most important allies.
“Today’s announcement builds on the deal we struck with the EU and will further help us rebuild relationships with our allies around the world as we work to fight against China’s unfair trade practices and create a more competitive global economy for America’s families, businesses and workers,” Raimondo said.
The announcement on the tariff cuts came after the US House of Representatives passed on Friday a bill aimed at increasing US semiconductor manufacturing and boosting competitiveness with China.
The bill has, among others, a $52 billion provision to make chips, some $160 billion for scientific research and innovation and a further $45 billion to improve supply chains for critical items.
Prior to that, the US Senate passed in June a $250 billion competition bill called the US Innovation and Competition Act.
The two legislative chambers are expected to spend the next weeks hammering out the differences between the two bills, before sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature.
The United States waged a more than two-year long trade war with China under Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, leading to an array of tit-for-tat tariffs between the two sides that was finally resolved in a trade deal that Beijing only partly fulfilled. Biden, who took office in January of 2021, has his own rocky relationship with China, warning that Beijing will economically overtake the United States without a comprehensive set of policies from Washington.
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