Leading business federations from the United States and the European Union have come together to call for constructive dialogue and cooperation as leaders convene for a crucial summit on Friday. The primary agenda includes resolving ongoing disputes stemming from metal tariffs initiated during the Trump administration and bolstering collaboration on essential minerals vital to the green transition.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Europe emphasized the need for swift action ahead of the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council president Charles Michel in Washington. The European Union is eager to prevent the resurgence of import tariffs on steel and aluminum, previously imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Additionally, both parties are striving to secure an agreement that would benefit European exporters of critical minerals to the United States.
The business federations underscored concerns related to sluggish economic growth and the proliferation of misguided narratives surrounding industrial decline. They warned against the dangers of protectionist policies, highlighting that such measures could hinder innovation and obstruct overall prosperity.
In a proactive move, the groups called upon EU and U.S. officials to forge a durable agreement that would preclude any reimplementation of metals tariffs by the United States and prevent retaliatory measures from the European Union. This agreement should also address pressing issues like global overcapacity and carbon emissions in the metals production sector.
Furthermore, the business organizations urged transatlantic partners to engage in cooperative ventures with nations holding substantial reserves of critical minerals. Such cooperation is essential to reduce reliance on a single source, a vulnerability often exemplified by China's dominant position in this field.
Recognizing the critical role of minerals such as lithium, cobalt, copper, nickel, and rare earths in advancing the green transition, the groups emphasized that global mining companies would need to ramp up production by an astounding 500% over the next decade. This collective effort is pivotal to meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving and sustainable global economy.