From dpa

So-called steel coils on the site of a German industrial group.  Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa Photo: dpa

So-called steel coils on the site of a German industrial group. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa

The punitive tariffs introduced by Donald Trump on steel and aluminum imports have been poisoning trade relations between the US and the EU for years. There is now a deal under Trump’s successor, Joe Biden. China also plays a role.

From dpa

10/30/2021 – 9:37 pm

Rome – The EU and the US have reached an agreement on the provisional settlement of their longstanding dispute over American special tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Both sides declared this on Saturday evening on the sidelines of the summit of the leading industrialized and emerging countries in Rome (G20).

According to US information, the agreement in principle provides that the EU states will in future be able to import certain quantities of the materials into the USA duty-free. In addition, both parties are suspending pending proceedings in the matter before the bodies of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The EU Commission initially did not want to comment on details. EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis only confirmed that they had agreed to « pause » the dispute. The agreement should be presented this Sunday by US President Joe Biden and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The US side was less reluctant. Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, said the deal resolved « one of the greatest issues » in the relationship between the transatlantic partners. He presented the deal together with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The trade conflict was instigated in 2018 by then US President Donald Trump. Trump had introduced special tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The EU responded with retaliatory tariffs on US products such as jeans, bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and peanut butter. Trump had justified the special tariffs « with national security interests ». The EU considered this to be implausible and assumes that the aim was to protect the US economy from unwanted competition.

The EU’s retaliatory tariffs on US products should have increased before the end of the year, said Raimondo. This has now been averted with the agreement. At the same time it will be ensured that no steel can be imported from the EU, some of which comes from China. The USA accuses Beijing of subsidizing domestic industry and creating artificially low prices for unfair competition.

As early as June, the EU and the USA suspended punitive tariffs on products such as airplanes, wine and ketchup until 2026. The agreement is intended to make it possible to calmly resolve the dispute over state aid for the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and its European rival Airbus. It had been escalated by Trump with the introduction of punitive tariffs on imports from the EU. The Union reacted at that time with special levies on imports from the USA.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211030-99-801478 / 3

Catégories : Uncategorized

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