Optimism Surrounds Likely End to EU US Steel Trade Tensions

BRUSSELS – European Commissioner for Trade said that he has become more optimistic that the bloc could resolve its dispute with the United States over U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminium.

A resolution to the EU’s Trump-era dispute with the US over steel and aluminium is in progress says Valdis Dombrovskis, EU executive vice-president in charge of trade policy.  

The distortions that result from excess aluminium and steekmaking capacity pose a serious threat to the market-oriented EU and U.S. steel and aluminum industries and the workers in those industries.

He said that one of the joint conclusions of a EU-U.S. summit in mid-June was to work to resolve the issue by the end of the year. “We understand the willingness of the US to protect its steel industry.

After the EU-U.S. summit I am more optimistic that the solution will be found, so we are now engaging closely with the relevant departments in the U.S. administration,” he told a Brussels’ meeting on Friday.

Valdis Dombrovskis and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced on 17 August the start of discussions to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity.

During a virtual meeting last week, the leaders acknowledged the need for effective solutions that preserve our critical industries, and agreed to chart a path that ends the WTO disputes following the U.S. application of tariffs on imports from the EU under section 232. They agreed that, as the United States and EU Member States are allies and partners, sharing similar national security interests as democratic, market economies, they can partner to promote high standards, address shared concerns, and hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies to account.

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