The United States and the European Union agreed to start talks to end their dispute over EU steel and aluminum tariffs applied since 2018 by Washington, so the European bloc will temporarily suspend the introduction of a new round of tariffs planned in response to the American action.
The Vice-President of the Community Executive, Valdis Dombrovskis, the U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina M.Raimondo, announced on Monday in a joint statement the start of “discussions to address global overcapacity in steel and aluminum.”
In a telematic meeting last week, they further agreed to “chart a path forward to end disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) following the US application of tariffs” on European imports of these metals, according to the statement.
Both sides will seek to address “common concerns” about overcapacity and the “deployment of effective solutions, including appropriate trade measures,” to preserve their critical industries.
In the interest of creating a constructive environment for dialogue, they further agreed to avoid changes on those issues that negatively affect bilateral trade, whereby the EU will temporarily suspend the implementation of a second round of “rebalancing measures” in response to U.S. tariffs that were to take effect next June 1.
“This gives us space to find joint solutions to this dispute & tackle global excess capacity,” Dombrovskis said on Twitter.
The aim of the Brussels and Washington is to start these discussions “without delay” to find solutions “before the end of this year,” they said in the statement.
In the statement released today, the EU and the United States stress that global overcapacity is “largely driven by third parties” and that the distortions it generates “pose a serious threat to the market-oriented EU and US steel and aluminum industries.”
“As allies and partners, sharing similar national security interests, as democratic market economies, the U.S. and EU states can partner to promote high standards, address common concerns, and hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies accountable,” they say.