EU and US reach agreement on steel trade

The European Union and the US have announced that they have reached an agreement to end the ongoing trade dispute involving steel products, initiated with the imposition by the Turmp administration of Section 232 tariffs.

The latest announcements confirm that steel trade barriers for European suppliers to sell into the US will be adjusted. As expected, the US adiministration has agreed to give to European suppliers a tariff-free volume quota, beyond which the 25% duty will continue to be implemented. The quota volume is to be determined according to historical trading levels. Negotiations have been ongoing since earlier in 2021.

“The US decision to restore past trading volumes of EU steel and aluminium exports means we can move on from a major irritant with the US. It gives us breathing space to work on a comprehensive solution to tackle global overcapacity. The EU will therefore reciprocate this de-escalation by suspending our own rebalancing measures. We can now focus on a more forward-looking transatlantic trade agenda, while also working on a final, lasting outcome to this issue,” Valdis Dombrovskis, EU trade commissioner said.

Before the S232 tariff was imposed, Europe sold to the US some 3.3mt of finished products. Kallanish now understands the tariff-free quota will be of the same magnitude.

The EU and the US also added that the resolution of this trade dispute opens a new collaboration on sustainable steel and aluminium production.“The global arrangement will add a powerful new tool in our quest for sustainability, achieving climate neutrality, and ensuring a level playing field for our steel and aluminium industries,” Ursula von der Leyen, EC president said.

Emanuele Norsa Italy