The European Commission is actively pursuing an agreement with the United States regarding steel and aluminum trade, with the goal of ending U.S. import tariffs on these metals by the close of the year. Commission Vice President Vera Jourova made this announcement, underscoring the European Union's determination to find a resolution.
Negotiations between U.S. and EU representatives hit an impasse during a summit on October 20, primarily focused on addressing overcapacity issues in non-market economies, notably China, and advancing environmentally sustainable steel production methods.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump had imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum back in 2018. However, the Biden administration suspended these tariffs, contingent upon reaching a deal by the end of October. The United States has indicated a willingness to extend the tariff suspension into the new year if necessary. Nonetheless, Jourova, responsible for overseeing EU digital economy matters, affirmed the Commission's commitment to concluding negotiations by the end of this year.
During a debate in the European Parliament on the EU-U.S. summit, concerns were raised about the protracted talks. Jourova, however, noted that substantial progress had been made on key issues.
In addition to addressing the steel dispute, the European Union is actively working to secure an agreement with the United States concerning critical minerals. This agreement would allow electric vehicles using cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese, or nickel sourced or processed in the EU to qualify for U.S. tax incentives.
Jourova expressed the EU's eagerness to bring this agreement to fruition but refrained from specifying a definite deadline. The ongoing negotiations reflect the EU's commitment to resolving trade matters and fostering a more cooperative and productive relationship with the United States.