The European Commission and the US Administration announced that they have now reached an agreement to jointly address the issue related to the duties on imports of steel and aluminium from EU countries, applied by the United States under the so-called Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which had started from March 2018.
On the basis of the agreement reached, the United States will remove the duties on EU steel and aluminium exports, for total trade flows equal to those recorded before the imposition of the aforementioned duties by the USA.
For its part, the Commission will initiate the necessary procedures to suspend both tranches – the first one already in force, and the second one scheduled as from December 1st – of its own rebalancing measures (the so-called Rebalancing), adopted in response to the US duties against about 200 types of US products – including Bourbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles – traditionally exported to the European market.
Furthermore, the EU and the United States will temporarily suspend bilateral steel and aluminium disputes already initiated at the World Trade Organization. Both parties also declared their desire to work together in order to tackle overcapacity in the steel sector globally, accelerate the decarbonisation of the global steel and aluminium industries, and thereby combat the climate change. To this end, they announced their intention to negotiate a bilateral agreement on the sustainable production of steel and aluminium – the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium – opening it to the endorsement of other countries that share its aims.
Italy welcomes this important step forward for the EU’s trade and investment interests, which follows the suspension of duties in aircraft disputes and the recent launch of the EU-USA Trade and Technology Council, and will continue to support the work of the Commission for a permanent solution and for the relaunch of the transatlantic relations also on the commercial level.