The trade dispute with the European Union over steel and aluminum imports launched by former US President Donald Trump must be resolved by the end of the year. Will it be more inconvenient to China?
Brussels (dpa) – The European Union and the United States of America want to find a solution to their dispute over special tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by the end of the year.
Until then, Europeans will abandon the planned expansion of retaliatory tariffs. The two sides said in a statement on Monday that the aim is to show that the problem of overcapacity in steel and aluminum production can be addressed together. It is agreed that the increased capabilities are mainly caused by third parties. Countries that pursue distorted trade policies, such as China, can be held jointly accountable.
It was the current trade conflict between the European Union and the United States that was instigated by then-US President Donald Trump in 2018. Trump had imposed special tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The European Union responded with retaliatory duties on US products such as jeans, bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and peanut butter. Trump justified the tariffs for “national security interests.” However, the European Union considered this unreasonable and assumed the aim was to protect the US economy from unwanted competition.
A spokeswoman for the European Union Commission said on Monday that the tougher tariff retaliation planned by the European Union on June 1 will be suspended for the time being. To ensure the best possible constructive environment for these joint efforts, it was agreed to avoid changes in issues that have a negative impact on bilateral trade, according to the joint statement on the subject.
The European Union retaliatory tariffs were set in June 2018, and as a first step, it stipulated special tariffs on imports from the United States valued at € 2.8 billion per year. In the second step, there should now be additional special tariffs on US goods with a trade value of 3.6 billion euros. Retaliatory tariffs are designed to offset the damage done to the European Union by US tariffs.
The statement said that the agreement to start dispute settlement negotiations came after talks between European Commission Vice President Valdes Dombrovskis, US Trade Representative Catherine Tay and US Trade Minister Gina Raymondo. Among the European Union, the current trade disputes are also expected to play a role in the first EU-US summit with US President Joe Biden in mid-June. In addition to the row over steel and aluminum exports, the dispute over subsidies to European aircraft maker Airbus and US aircraft maker Boeing has yet to be settled. It also led to the imposition of special tariffs on both sides.
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