It appears that US is in no rush to agree a deal with UK to ease tariffs on steel imports. US’s Trade Representative Ms Katherine Tai, while speaking to an online forum hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin, stated that the country will hold discussions on Section 232 tariffs to complete a deal with the UK when the time is right. She said “It had taken six months to reach an agreement with the EU. Washington has also opened formal negotiations with Japan about the ongoing tariffs on its metals. We just need to have a process that makes sense, but the UK is very much on our minds and I am confident that we will take this up when the time is right.”Community Steelworkers Union National Officer Mr Alun Davies said Ms Raimondo’s rejection of talks is obviously deeply disappointing. He added: “We hope remedying this blockage is given the highest priority. The Government urgently needs to strike a deal with the US that will see our steel manufacturers enjoying the same tariff-free access to the US market as their European competitors.”A spokesman for British Prime Minister Mr Boris Johnson said that it is understandable that Raimondo could not commit to international travel due to uncertainty around the Omicron coronavirus variant, but talks are urgently needed. He said “We maintain the urgent need to make progress on this issue, to lift the prospect of further retaliatory tariffs on US goods and look forward to virtual discussions with the US.”US’s Commerce Department had earlier had said that US Commerce Secretary Ms Gina Raimondo is not in a position to travel to London in-person at the present time, after an invitation last month from Britain's trade minister Ms Anne-Marie Trevelyan. A Reuter report suggests that Ms Raimondo is expected to participate in virtual talks with British officials about US steel and aluminum tariffs in the coming month.The US suspended Trump-era tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium levied on European products with effect 1 January 2022, but left them in place on UK exports. British exporters currently pay a 25% duty on steel shipments to the US. Washington has voiced concerns that the UK government's plans to redraw trading arrangements in Northern Ireland, agreed when the UK left the European Union, could threaten peace on the island of Ireland.