The United States and the European Union on Sunday ended a dispute over steel and aluminium tariffs and said they would work on a global arrangement to combat “dirty” production and overcapacity in the industry.
The future EU-US arrangement will be a challenge for China, which produces more than half of the world’s steel and which the EU and US accuse of creating overcapacity that is threatening the survival of their own steel industries.
“The United States and the European Union have reached a major breakthrough that will address the existential threat of climate change while also protecting American jobs and American industry,” US President Joe Biden told reporters in Rome in a joint event with European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen on G20 sidelines.
Under the deal, Washington will allow EU countries duty free access for steel and aluminium exports to the United States in volumes comparable to those shipped before tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump’s administration in 2018.
In response, the EU removed retaliatory tariffs on US products including whiskey, power boats and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
But rather than just a simple return to the status quo from 2018, the United States and the European Union plan to address the existential threat of climate change and production overcapacity in the steel industry, which is one of the biggest CO2 emitters in the world.
“Together, the United States and European Union will work to restrict access to their markets for dirty steel and limit access to countries that dump steel in our markets, contributing to worldwide over-supply,” the White House said in a factsheet without naming China directly. -Reuters