Wales politics

Carwyn Jones criticises Donald Trump's US steel tariff

Steel Image copyright Getty Images

Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US has caused "serious concerns" for Wales, the first minister has said.

Carwyn Jones said the tax could have a significant impact on the Welsh steel industry and has written to the UK government about the decision.

The Port Talbot steel plant is the largest producer of steel in the United Kingdom.

Steel imports will carry a 25% tariff while aluminium will have a 10% duty.

Mr Jones said: "A return to the protectionism of the past is not the answer and we have already written to the UK government to express our serious concern about the potential impact US tariffs could have on the Welsh steel industry.

"We remain absolutely committed to doing all we can to support the steel industry and to promoting international trade, which is vital to ensuring the prosperity of Welsh people and communities."

The Tata Steel Plant in Port Talbot has been described "the most economically important private sector company in Wales," and employs about 4,000 people.

UK Steel says 7% of its exports go to the US, which equates to £360m per year.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced he will travel to Washington next week to discuss the new duties.

Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon, criticised the decision and described it as a "milestone moment for the future of the British steel industry".

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