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US-European steel tariff negotiations falter…difficult points of contention

Talks between the European Union and the United States regarding tariffs on steel trade are still stalled, according to informed sources.

This comes at a time when the two sides are trying to avoid the return of billions of dollars in duties on European steel exports to the United States, ahead of the US-European summit scheduled in Washington later this week.

Informed sources said, “Differences still exist between the two sides over whether reaching a political agreement on global steel and aluminium trade could lead to extending the suspension of duties imposed by former US President Donald Trump on his country’s imports of the two metals, or whether it would pave the way for them to abolish these fees completely.

Bloomberg News Agency quoted the sources as saying, “The European Union is pressing to completely cancel these fees, while the United States wants to retain the option of re-imposing them in the future to ensure the European Union’s commitment to implementing any measures agreed upon correctly.”

The sources added that “one of the points of disagreement that has not been resolved is the extent of compatibility with the (Global Arrangement on Sustainable Aluminum and Steel) or (GSA),” which are international trade rules aimed at confronting China’s increasing influence in the steel and aluminium market.

The United States and the European Union are seeking to reach an agreement before the US-European summit scheduled for next Friday in Washington with the participation of US President Joe Biden, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

The administration of former US President Donald Trump imposed customs duties on US imports of steel products at a rate of 25 per cent and on imports of aluminium at a rate of 10 per cent, under the pretext of protecting American national security, which prompted the European Union to impose additional duties on its imports of a wide range of American products

 

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