Business federations representing the United States and the European Union are urging leaders convening for an upcoming summit to address persistent issues surrounding Trump-era metals tariffs and to strengthen cooperation concerning vital minerals crucial for the green energy transition.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Europe set the tone ahead of the summit, which will see U.S. President Joe Biden hosting European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel in Washington. One of the primary objectives on the EU's agenda is to prevent the re-imposition of import tariffs on steel and aluminum, a legacy of former U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. Additionally, the EU aims to negotiate an agreement that benefits European exporters of critical minerals to the United States.
Highlighting their concerns, the business groups underlined the importance of addressing misconceptions about industrial decline and sluggish economic growth, both of which have fueled protectionist sentiments. They cautioned that protectionist policies have the potential to hinder innovation and prosperity.
The joint statement calls upon EU and U.S. officials to reach a lasting agreement that not only prevents the U.S. from reinstating metals tariffs but also addresses broader issues such as global overcapacity and carbon emissions stemming from metals production.
Furthermore, the business federations emphasized the need for transatlantic partners to collaborate with nations possessing substantial reserves of critical minerals. This strategic move aims to reduce overreliance on any single source, notably China, which has been a dominant supplier of these essential minerals.
In the context of the green transition—an endeavor to transition toward a more environmentally sustainable and low-carbon economy—the statement stressed the imperative for global mining firms to significantly increase production of critical minerals. This includes minerals like lithium, cobalt, copper, nickel, and rare earths. A whopping 500% increase in production over the next decade is deemed necessary to accelerate progress in this crucial aspect of the green transition.
In summary, this development underscores the pressing trade-related issues and the need for collaborative efforts between the U.S. and the EU to address these challenges. It highlights the importance of fostering an environment of trade cooperation, resolving tariff disputes, and securing a stable supply of critical minerals for a sustainable and prosperous future.