UK manufacturers could be hit hard by Trump’s steel tariffs decision if it spirals into a trade war.
The British Ceramic Confederation is warning the fall out could damage the tableware and giftware industry, which currently exports £34m of goods to America.
Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “Our tableware manufacturers’ quality ceramic products are in demand all over the world. They export successfully because of the rules that help free trade.
“The steel tariffs go against these rules and could start a damaging trade war.
“Currently, our UK ceramic tableware and giftware producers export 70 per cent of their ware, and £34m of this goes to America.
“The UK imports less than £4m of tableware from America.
“Trump’s protectionism and barriers to trade will ultimately inflict damage, as the EU responds, the situation could escalate affecting our exports.”
Europe is currently figuring out how much to levy on American imports like bourbon, cranberries and jeans. American ceramics are also in the mix.
Laura added: “Trump’s tariffs are concerning for the UK, not only for the steel industry but for a wide range of manufacturers. This could affect jobs, supply chains and our economy.
“Brexit adds further uncertainty to the situation. When we leave the EU we need a robust UK system to look after trade problems, ranging from Trump’s aggression, to Chinese dumping which floods the market with unfairly low cost ceramics.
“In future, the UK will need to act quickly and strongly to look after UK manufacturing jobs and businesses. Currently the proposals fall short of what’s needed.”
Notes to editors
For further information please contact:
Ciara Jagger, Publicity and Project Officer, British Ceramic Confederation, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2SA.