U.S., EU Reach Deal on Steel

Nov. 3, 2021
A trade dispute between America and Europe over steel and aluminum imports that has simmered since 2018 appears to be ending.

A trade dispute between America and Europe over steel and aluminum imports that has simmered since 2018 appears to be ending, following a new trade agreement.

The U.S. has agreed to end tariffs on some of the metal imported from European Union nations, setting a quota for duty-free imports. In return, the EU will end retaliatory 25% tariffs on whiskey and other products from the U.S., just as the whiskey tariff was due to double.

The metal tariffs were imposed by the Trump administration in 2018. They were pitched as a national-security measure to buttress the domestic metal supply against cheap foreign imports, but some observers saw it as a way for Trump to fulfill promises he made on the campaign trail to bring back America’s steel industry.

The metal tariff against Canada and Mexico was withdrawn in 2019. It remains in force against China.

The new agreement will go into effect Jan. 1 and last two years. During that time, the U.S. and EU will negotiate a larger deal, which will probably incorporate standards for minimization of carbon emissions in steel production.

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