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Statement by EU Commission Executive Vice-President & EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis on a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium and EU-US steel and aluminium dispute

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

2021 has been a landmark year for transatlantic relations.

We have successfully pressed the reset button with the Biden administration, in large part due to our shared willingness to forge a new trade agenda, both bilaterally and in the context of providing renewed global leadership.

Since the the EU-U.S. Summit in June, we have succeeded in getting one breakthrough after the other.

We grounded the Airbus-Boeing dispute in June.

We launched the EU-US Trade and Technology Council in September, a forum to cooperate closely on joint rules and standards for the 21st century.

And today, we have agreed to hit the pause button on our steel and aluminium trade disputes, while hitting the start button on cooperating on a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium.

These are significant achievements that will also directly support our efforts to create sustainable economic growth and good jobs for our workers in the economies of the future.

Today's US decision on steel and aluminium tariffs will alleviate an important trade irritant that has hampered EU-US trade relations. This means that EU exporters of steel and aluminium can once again ship their products without undue barriers to US customers, and transatlantic trade can return to pre-tariff levels.

In response, we will suspend the EU rebalancing measures, introduced in the wake of the imposition of the US Section 232 tariffs.

Our position from the get-go was that Europe was not the problem in the wider issue of global steel overcapacity - which we jointly need to tackle. We need to do this in line with international trade rules and with our ambitions to green the economy.

These discussions were far from easy and this solution is not perfect. But it means we can move on from one of the most visible irritants imposed by President Trump.

During the next two years we will work towards a global steel arrangement, which would allow us to remove 232 tariffs for good.

I am grateful to my American counterparts, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai, for the constructive relationship we have formed in such a short space of time.

Thanks to the close cooperation with the Biden Administration, we can now focus on a more forward-looking transatlantic agenda.


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