The United States has announced the continuation of its suspension on import tariffs for European Union steel and aluminium, as per U.S. ambassador to the EU, Mark Gitenstein. The ambassador confirmed on Wednesday that the exemption from tariffs of 25% on EU steel and 10% on EU aluminium will be extended if needed to allow more time for the two entities to solidify measures tackling overcapacity and the advancement of low-carbon metal production.
In a step away from former President Donald Trump’s tariff imposition, the United States initiated a tariff rate quota (TRQ) system in January 2022, which is set to span two years. This system permits up to 3.3 million metric tons of EU steel and approximately 845,505 metric tons of aluminium to enter the U.S. without tariffs, reflecting historical trade volumes. Any quantity exceeding these limits would attract the reinstated tariffs.
Ambassador Gitenstein reassured those concerned in comments to Reuters.
“We have never threatened to let TRQs expire and reinstate the 25% tariff on EU steel. […] From the beginning, we have made clear to the EU that we intend to roll over our TRQs at the beginning of the year if we needed more time to negotiate.”
Although the U.S. and the EU have not reached a conclusive agreement on addressing the issue of excess metal production, especially in non-market economies like China, nor on promoting eco-friendlier steel production, they remain in pursuit of a deal on critical minerals.
The bilateral talks also encompass reaching an accord under which electric vehicles (EVs) containing cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese, or nickel mined or refined in the EU could be eligible for U.S. tax incentives. Ambassador Gitenstein affirmed the U.S.’s dedication to progressing these discussions as well.