EU, US reach deal to end row over Trump-era aluminum and steel tariffs

The US and the EU agreed on Saturday Oct. 30, 2021 to lift punitive tariffs on imported European steel and aluminum, ending a dispute that strained their trade ties since then-president Donald Trump imposed the levies three years ago. © france 24

The U.S. and European Union have reached an agreement to settle their diplomatic rift over Trump-era steel and aluminum tariffs, the White House announced Saturday, as President Joe Biden is in Rome attending the Group of 20 summit.

The Trump administration had placed taxes on EU steel and aluminum in 2018 on the claim that the foreign products produced by American allies were a threat to U.S. national security. Europeans and other allies were outraged by Trump’s use of Article 232 to justify the tariffs, leading many to impose countertariffs on U.S.-made motorcycles, bourbon, peanut butter and jeans, among other items.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the agreement Saturday. They said that the Article 232 tariffs won’t be removed entirely but that some quantity of European steel and aluminum will be allowed to enter the U.S. without tariffs under the deal.

“We were able to reach an agreement whereby the EU will drop their retaliatory tariffs (on American goods),” Raimondo said. The agreement would ensure “that all steel entering the U.S. via Europe is produced entirely in Europe,” Raimondo added.

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