EU and US agree to suspend tariffs in steel dispute


Brussels — The European Union and the United States have decided to suspend measures at the heart of the steel tariff dispute, which is considered one of the major trade issues that separate the two countries.

“We are in talks in an effort to restart transatlantic relations,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, EU trade director. It affects everything from steel production to the sale of Kentucky Bourbon.

In addition to suspending measures, both sides also said they “promise to consult to address the world’s steel and aluminum overcapacity.” We are creating space to solve these problems by the end of the year, “says Donbroski.

After both sides decided in March to suspend the tariffs used in the long-standing Airbus-Boeing conflict for four months, it was the second obvious step towards a better trade relationship under President Joe Biden. ..

“As early as December 2020, the EU submitted a plan for a new EU-US agenda to the Biden administration, and we are pleased that this approach will bear fruit,” said Dombrovskis.

The decision was in time for Biden to visit EU headquarters in mid-June to discuss a new relationship after a difficult relationship with former President Donald Trump.

This issue dates back to the 2018 tariffs imposed by Trump on EU steel and aluminum. This called the EU and other allied metals a threat to US national security. The Article 232 ruling hurt European producers and raised the cost of steel for American companies.

“The EU is not a national security threat to the United States, but the distortions caused primarily by global overcapacity caused by third parties pose a serious threat to the market-oriented EU and the United States.” Said Dombrovskis.

Together, the EU and the United States will be in a better position to deal with China, a huge steel-producing country that is considered part of the cause of excess.

When Trump imposed tariffs, Europe retaliated by raising tariffs on US-made motorcycles, bourbon, peanut butter and jeans.

The US spirits industry was one of the first to react.

“The news didn’t arrive immediately. Distilled liquor manufacturers across the United States are sighing a great relief after preparing for a 50% tariff on American whiskey in just a few days,” said Distilled Liquor. Chris Swonger, chairman of the council, said. He said any expansion would “push many craft distilleries out of the EU market.” This is one of the most lucrative markets in the world.

By Raf Casert