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Statement by President von der Leyen on a new Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement and EU-US steel and aluminium dispute

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op zondag 31 oktober 2021.

"Check against delivery"

I am pleased to announce that President Biden and I today have agreed to suspend the tariffs on steel and aluminium, and to start the work on a new Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement. This marks a new milestone in our renewed EU-US partnership. And it is a global first in our efforts to achieve the decarbonisation of global steel production and trade. A big step forward to fight climate change. The arrangement is open to all like-minded partners.

Steel manufacturing is one of the highest carbon emission sources globally. For steel consumption and trade to be sustainable, we must address the carbon intensity of the industry. We must also address problems of overcapacity. This is what the Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement wants to achieve. We will work together with the United States to ensure the long-term viability of our industry, to encourage the production and trade of low-carbon steel.

This new global initiative will add a powerful new tool in our quest for sustainability. It will be a major step forward to achieving climate neutrality. And it will ensure a level playing field for our industries. It is yet another key initiative for our renewed, forward-looking transatlantic agenda with the US.

Since the beginning of the year, we have restored trust and communication. At our Summit in June, we put to rest our disputes on aircraft subsidies. We set up the Trade and Technology Council. We reached an agreement on global minimum tax. And now, we have found a solution on EU-US steel and aluminium trade.

I thank you Mr President, dear Joe, for your announcement that the US will remove US tariffs on EU steel and aluminium up to previous trade levels. This will alleviate a major part of the existing trade irritants. It will allow transatlantic trade in steel and aluminium between us to come back to the levels recorded before these tariffs were put in place. Following this US decision, I am pleased to announce that the Commission will also propose to suspend the tariffs that we had introduced.  

I am also pleased to join President Biden in announcing the pausing of our disputes on this issue at the World Trade Organisation. I would like to thank Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis for their and their team's tireless effort over the past months.

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