EU, US set deadline to end tariffs related to Section 232: report

The EU and US have set a deadline to end punitive tariffs related to the US Section 232 tariffs as President Joe Biden is set to meet with European officials in Brussels next week, Reuters reported June 9, citing a draft communique.

The seven-page draft seen by Reuters commits to ending a long-running dispute over subsidies to aircraft makers before July 11 and sets a Dec. 1 deadline to end punitive tariffs related to the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, it reported.

Steel industry sources told Reuters the language may be aimed at retaliatory tariffs on both sides such as those on whiskey and motorbikes, not necessarily the underlying 25% US tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum, it said.

The EU in May temporarily suspended the application of “rebalancing” duties originally scheduled to be charged on imports of some US products effective June 1, with the European Commission stating the suspension was in the “spirit” of cooperation between the two “strategic partners.”

The EC introduced rebalancing duties in June 2018, initially targeting a list of products worth Eur2.8 billion, which were scheduled to target a further Eur3.6 billion worth of trade as from June 1, 2021. It is this “second tranche” of rebalancing measures that has now been suspended.

— Justine Coyne