US, EU target Oct 2023 to wrap up global steel, aluminum negotiations: Biden

The US and EU will seek to conclude negotiations by Oct. 31, 2023, on global steel and aluminum arrangements to restore market-oriented conditions and support the reduction of carbon intensity across modes of steel and aluminum production, according to a proclamation issued by President Joe Biden Dec. 27.

In October, the US and EU said they would negotiate further arrangements for trade in the steel and aluminum sectors that take account both global non-market excess capacity as well as the carbon intensity of these industries. The US and the EU agreed to form a technical working group to enhance their cooperation and facilitate negotiations on these arrangements, and will invite like-minded economies to participate in the arrangements, they said.

The deal between the two parties to target these issues is part of a larger agreement reached in late-October to replace the existing US Section 232 tariffs with a tariff-rate quota for EU countries beginning Jan. 1. The proclamation issued by Biden Dec. 27 makes the change official.

From Jan. 1, 2022, forward, a tariff-rate quota system will replace the existing 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminum tariff that former President Donald Trump imposed on EU imports under Section 232 legislation in March 2018.

The aggregate annual steel import volume under the TRQ is set at 3.3 million mt across 54 product categories and allocated on an EU member state basis, in line with the 2015-2017 historical period.

The aggregate annual import volume is set at 18,000 mt for unwrought aluminum under two product categories, and 366,000 mt for semi-finished aluminum under 14 product categories. These import volumes also will be allocated on an EU member state basis but will be in line with the 2018-19 historical period, with the exceptions of foil, which will use 2021 annualized data.

— Justine Coyne