US will lift Trump-era steel tariffs on Ukraine
By Sam Fossum, CNN
(CNN) -- The US will temporarily lift Trump-era tariffs on Ukrainian steel for a period of one year in a move aimed at helping the Ukrainian economy and sending a message of support as the country continues to resist Russia's ongoing invasion.
"For steel mills to continue as an economic lifeline for the people of Ukraine, they must be able to export their steel. Today's announcement is a signal to the Ukrainian people that we are committed to helping them thrive in the face of Putin's aggression, and that their work will create a stronger Ukraine, both today and in the future," US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a written statement.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal asked the US to lift these tariffs during his meetings at the White House back in April, and some members of Congress have also been urging the administration to lift US tariffs on Ukrainian steel.
The move appears to be mostly symbolic. While Ukraine is a major global exporter of steel, the US only imported 130,649 metric tons of steel in 2021, according to the International Trade Administration.
The decision by the Commerce Department comes one day after the US unveiled another round of punitive sanctions and export controls against Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and G7 leaders held a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Back in 2018, the Trump administration imposed the 25% tariffs on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum in a bid to support those industries, although the move at the time was also rebuked by US manufacturers of steel and aluminum made products, saying it would cost jobs and increase consumer prices.
Since President Joe Biden took office last year, his administration has methodically rolled back some tariffs imposed under the Trump administration as it tries to strengthen US ties with its allies. The US has reached negotiated agreements in the last year with both Japan and the European Union on reducing steel tariffs.
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