US, EU Ended the Tariff War, EU’s Von Der Leyen Confirms

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet on Sunday that the EU and the United States have put an end to the ‘tariff war’ initiated in by former President Donald Trump in 2018 by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Von der Leyen added at the G20 meeting in Rome that they also agreed to start a new global sustainable steel arrangement, marking a milestone in the renew EU-US partnership and pointing that the EU will pause the dispute on steel in the World Trade Organisation.

President Biden pointed that the US and the EU are taking joint steps to defend workers, industries and communities from global overcapacity and climate change and are committed to deepen the cooperation and to negotiating a carbon-based arrangement on the steel and aluminium trade to discourage trade in high-carbon steel and aluminium.

In the joint statement Von der Leyen and Biden also issued, it was pointed that they have taken steps to re-establish transatlantic trade flows in steel and aluminium.

The US decided not to apply US Section 232 duties and to allow duty-free importation steel and aluminium from the EU while the EU agreed to suspend related tariffs on US products.

US officials have announced late Saturday that the US and EU have agreed to end a festering dispute, removing an irritant in transatlantic relations and averting a spike in EU retaliatory tariffs on US products including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi Strauss jeans, and bourbon whiskey.

US Secretary of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo explained the deal will maintain Section 232 tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% aluminium while allowing duty-free export to US of limited volumes of EU-produced metals.

Though the volume of duty-free steel to be allowed into the US under the agreed tariff-rate quota was not specified, sources familiar with the deal mentioned annual volumes up to 3.3 million tons and grants an additional two years of above the quota duty-free access for EU steel products granted exclusions in the past year by the US Commerce Department.

The deal allows the allies to focus on addressing worldwide excess steel and aluminium capacity- mainly centred in China – and on reducing carbon emissions from the industries.

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