EU & US to Set Deadlines to End Steel Tariffs
According to a draft communiqué, European Union and United States are set to commit at a summit in Brussels on 15 June to end their transatlantic metals and aircraft trade disputes and call for progress on a new study into the origins of COVID-19. The draft commits to ending a long-running dispute over subsidies to aircraft makers before July 11 and setting a December 1 deadline to end punitive tariffs related to steel and aluminium trade dispute. Despite pressure by US steel industry groups to keep the Section 232 national security tariffs the draft said "We commit to work towards lifting before 1 December 2021 all additional or punitive tariffs on both sides linked to our steel and aluminium dispute."
Former Latvian prime minister and EU’s Executive Vice President & Trade Commissioner Mr Valdis Dombrovskis told a session of European Parliament in Strasbourg "As a trust and confidence building measure, we have to deescalate and solve EU US trade disputes. EU hopes that the visit by Mr Biden would help achieve decisive progress on solving a steel tariff dispute as well as a two-decade spat over subsidies to plane-makers Boeing and Airbus.”
A US EU deal in May to avert escalation of the dispute left these in place while the two sides negotiate for six months to address global excess metals capacity largely centered in China.
The seven page draft aims to show concrete results of the new dawn hailed by EU leaders when US President Mr Joe Biden took over from Mr Donald Trump in January.
The tit-for-tat battle began in June 2018 when Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium from Europe, Asia and elsewhere. EU responded with counter-tariffs on 2.8 billion euros worth of US products, including bourbon whiskey, jeans, orange juice and Harley-Davidson motorbikes.