Association News

U.S., Europe Discuss Trade

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President Joe Biden welcomed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel for a trade discussion that focused heavily focused on steel.

Negotiations between the two parties appeared to bring some progress, though they remain removed from a new agreement.

"It is important to the domestic steel industry that the tariff rate quota system implemented in 2021 remains in place as negotiations continue," SMA President Philip K. Bell said.

The TRQs replaced Section 232 tariffs that had prompted Europe to respond with tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imported American goods and are seen as a major compromise of the part of the U.S., SMA added.

"Any proposal that holds open eliminating the TRQ's for Europe before non-market excess capacity and climate issues are fully resolved should be unacceptable. We appreciate USTR for staying strong and not caving in to the EU's current demands,” Bell said.

“The American steel industry appreciates the U.S. government’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a new international arrangement to address both non-market excess capacity in steel and the carbon intensity of steel imported from around the world. We are disappointed that to date the EU has not been prepared to agree to U.S. proposals to establish new trade measures that can effectively address these two key issues, which are critical to the future of both the U.S. and EU steel industries,” said Kevin Dempsey, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

“We recognize that these discussions are challenging and we thank the Biden administration for continuing to press for an agreement that ensures the long-term viability of the American steel industry. We will continue to advocate for an agreement that provides for meaningful and enforceable measures to restrict steel imports from all countries that contribute to non-market excess capacity and that also provides for tariffs on imports of higher carbon emissions intensity steel products.”