EU agrees to extend US steel trade talks

The EU has agreed to extend until 31 March 2025 the suspension of retaliatory tariffs on the US, in return for the US extending the suspension of Section 232 tariffs on EU steel and aluminium. The prolongation provides the time to find an agreement on the remaining Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium (GASSA) issues.

In addition, the US agreed to provide for further exclusions from the tariffs for EU exporters, the European Commission says without providing more details.

The extension will result in EU steel and aluminium exporters saving approximately €1.5 billion ($1.64 billion) in tariffs annually, the Commission notes in a statement seen by Kallanish.

The US must now complete its own procedures to extend its tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) system for EU exports of steel and aluminium as of 1 January 2024.

Steelmakers association Eurofer has welcomed the prolonged suspension of EU tariffs on US products, saying it paves the way for resuming discussions towards a “meaningful” GASSA.

“The framework will need to address global non-market excess capacity and carbon intensity in the steel industry – which are the two existential challenges affecting the sector – through close EU-US policy alignment. A structural, long-lasting solution to the Section 232 dispute will be a natural part of such framework,” says Eurofer director general Axel Eggert.

European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said last month the EU was pushing the US for a “noticeable improvement” in its management of TRQs, which the EU considers “rigid” (see Kallanish passim).

Adam Smith Poland