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Steel and aluminium tariff dispute: pause continues

20 Dec 2023
All Committees
Customs & Trade Facilitation

On Thursday, 28 December 2023, US President Joe Biden extended the suspension of tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium for the next two years. This decision arrived after the EU announced a suspension of the rebalancing tariffs on US products until March 2025, in the context of the steel and aluminium tariff trade dispute. This is a positive development as the deadline for the reintroduction of the measures was fast approaching. The EU and the US agreed to a two-year pause in 2021. A tit-for-tat between the EU and the US would hurt jobs, prosperity and security on both sides of the Atlantic. We hope that these decisions encourage the transatlantic partners to reach an agreement on this dispute and remove reciprocal tariffs fully and permanently in the coming months.

Simultaneously, the EU and the US should agree on a Global Sustainable Steel and Aluminium Arrangement that is compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and maintain the possibility of including like-minded countries in the initiative. The ongoing conversations should serve as a stepping stone for cooperation between the EU and the US, encouraging them to develop more resilient supply chains, global standards and fair trade practices in the framework of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC). It should also serve as inspiration to reform the WTO, strengthen existing rules on industrial subsidies and continue working on common challenges such as decarbonisation.

This article was edited on Wednesday, 10 January 2024, as a response to the United States’ decision not extend the suspension of tariffs.