global trade

EU, US end steel, aluminum clash, take aim at China’s ‘dirty’ steel

Reuters
EU, US end steel, aluminum clash, take aim at China’s ‘dirty’ steel

DISPUTE RESOLUTION. US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen shake hands after speaking about steel and aluminum tariffs, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Rome, Italy, October 31, 2021.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The United States removes tariffs on European Union steel and aluminum that were imposed by the Trump administration, while the EU removes tariffs on US products like whiskey, power boats, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles

The United States and the European Union on Sunday, October 31, ended a dispute over steel and aluminum tariffs and said they would work on a global arrangement on steel and aluminum to combat “dirty” production and overcapacity in the industry.

“The United States and the European Union 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 said.

Speaking at a joint news event with European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen on the sidelines of a G20 leaders’ meeting in Rome, Biden said the deal with the EU immediately removed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum that were imposed by Donald Trump’s administration in 2018.

In response, the EU removed tariffs on US products like whiskey, power boats, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, imposed in retaliation for the steel and aluminum tariffs.

Rather than just a simple return to the status quo from 2018, the United States and the European Union plan to also address the existential threat of climate change and production overcapacity in the steel industry, one of the biggest carbon dioxide emitters in the world.

“The global arrangement will add a powerful new tool in our quest for sustainability, achieving climate neutrality, and ensuring a level playing field for our steel and aluminum industries,” von der Leyen said.

The global deal is to be worked out over the next two years to promote “green” steel and aluminum production and will be open to all countries that want to join, including China, whom the EU and United States blame for excess global steel production capacity and “dirty” production technology.

Biden said the global arrangement would restrict access to US markets for “dirty” steel from countries such as China and counter steel dumping practices from other nations.

“The Global Arrangement will seek to ensure the long-term viability of our industries, encourage low-carbon intensity steel and aluminum production and trade, and restore market-oriented conditions,” the EU Commission said in a statement. – Rappler.com