EU, U.S. End Steel, Aluminum Row; Both Turn Their Guns On China
The United States and the European Union (EU) on Sunday ended a dispute over steel and aluminum tariffs and said they would work on a global arrangement to combat "dirty" production and overcapacity in the industry, Jeff Mason and Jan Strupczewski reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: President Joe Biden and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen bury the aluminum hatchet between the US and EU.
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 US and the EU 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 (EC) head Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
Under the deal, Washington will allow EU countries duty-free access for steel and aluminum 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 U.S. products including whiskey, powerboats, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
But rather than just a simple return to the status quo from 2018, the US and the EU 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.