News ID: 317515
Published: 0306 GMT October 31, 2021

US, EU agree to lift punitive tariffs

US, EU agree to lift punitive tariffs

The United States and the EU agreed to lift punitive tariffs on imported European steel and aluminum, ending a dispute that strained their trade ties since former Donald Trump imposed the levies three years ago.

The deal was announced by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who said it "allows limited volumes of EU steel and aluminum to enter the US tariff-free," AFP reported.

Increased EU retaliatory measures on iconic American products including Harley-Davidson motorcycles – due to take effect December 1 – will not now be applied, Raimondo said.

EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in a tweet: "We have agreed with US to pause our steel & aluminum ... trade dispute and launch cooperation on a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel & Aluminum."

Trump in June 2018 imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from several economies, including the European Union. He said he was acting on national security grounds.

The Europeans hit back quickly, with duties on tobacco, corn, rice and orange juice from the US.

In June, as they announced a deal to end their dispute on subsidies to Airbus and Boeing, the US and the European Union gave themselves until December 1 to resolve the steel tariff issue.

"These industries were facing retaliatory tariffs of 50 percent," Raimondo said of the likes of Harley Davidson. "No business can survive that. There are 5,600 manufacturing workers at Harley Davidson and all of their jobs are safer today because of this deal."

"We expect that this agreement will provide some supply chain relief and help drive down some of those cost increases as we lift the 25 percent tariffs and increase volume," Raimondo said in reference to pandemic-related disruptions to manufacturing and distribution of key products.

The deal specifies that all steel imported from Europe to the US must be manufactured entirely in Europe, Raimondo said.

She also said the accord creates a framework through which the US and EU will take carbon intensity into account in future talks.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the host of the G20 summit, said the accord "confirms the strengthening of already close transatlantic relations and the gradual passing of protectionism in recent years."




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