May 1, 2018 / 7:54 AM / a year ago

UK trade minister delighted over Trump steel tariff extension

Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox arrives in Downing Street in London, May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s trade minister Liam Fox said on Tuesday he was delighted that U.S. President Donald Trump had decided to extend a temporary exemption on steel and aluminum tariffs, saying hitting British imports made no sense.

The White House announced it was postponing tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico shortly before temporary extensions were due to expire at 12:01 a.m. (0401 GMT) on Tuesday.

“We’ve been very clear that we think that the mechanism that dealing with Chinese steel overproduction in this case is the wrong one, we would rather see it dealt with on a multilateral basis,” Fox told BBC radio.

“I’m delighted that there’s a 30 day extension now for us to try to get a longer term deal with the U.S.

“I think the idea of penalizing Britain when the small amount of steel that Britain sends to the United States is incorporated into its military program, to penalize us on grounds of national security would not make any sense and I’m glad we’ve got a breathing space on that.”

Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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