Theresa May says Trump steel tariffs are 'unjustified'

Theresa May says Trump steel tariffs are 'unjustified'

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Reuters Photo

British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her deep disappointment at "unjustified" US steel and aluminium tariffs in a phone call with President Donald Trump on Monday, her office said.

In a 30-minute call that Downing Street described as "constructive", the two leaders agreed to discuss the issue further at the G7 summit in Canada later this week.

"The prime minister raised the US decision to apply tariffs to EU steel and aluminium imports, which she said was unjustified and deeply disappointing," her office said in a statement.

"The prime minister said the US, UK and EU are close national security allies and we recognise the importance of the values of open and fair trade across the world.

"The prime minister also underlined the need to safeguard jobs that would potentially be affected by the decision.

"They agreed to discuss this and wider issues of free and fair global trade further at the G7 summit later in the week."

The pair also discussed North Korea, the stability of the oil markets and the conflict in Yemen, including the role of Iran there.

Britain and Washington are also at odds over the Iranian nuclear deal, but both leaders agreed on working together "to counter Iran's destabilising regional activity, including its support for the Houthis in Yemen".

They ended the call by looking forward to Trump's trip to Britain next month, which is expected to be marked by major demonstrations.