EU tries to avoid new tariffs on US: Dombrovskis
European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden meet during the EU-US summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 15, 2021.
Dursun Aydemir | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
PARIS – The European Union is working to avoid another round of tariffs on the United States, the European trade chief told CNBC on Wednesday, as Trump-era disputes persist between the two trade blocs .
The Donald Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on European steel and 10% on aluminum in June 2018 for national security reasons. However, the EU vehemently condemned the move and decided to impose retaliatory sanctions on 2.8 billion euros ($ 3.2 billion) of US goods.
In good faith, the EU delayed in May a second round of tariffs worth 3.6 billion euros. The idea was to find a solution with the administration of Joe Biden before December 1.
“The EU and the US are strategic partners, so it is very important that we cooperate, that we discuss, even if there are differences on some points,” he added. Valdis Dombrovskis, head of European trade, told CNBC on Wednesday at an OECD ministerial meeting in Paris.
“With the new Biden administration, we have already succeeded in anchoring the Airbus and Boeing dispute. We have just successfully launched a trade and technology council in Pittsburgh. And now we are indeed working very intensely to resolve this dispute as well. left by the Trump era which is steel and tariffs on aluminum.
Dombrovskis will discuss the matter with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Wednesday and has been in contact with other US officials, including Gina Raimondo, head of the US Department of Commerce.
When asked if a breakthrough was likely before the end of November, he said: “This is what we are working for.”
Speaking to CNBC at the same event, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the central problem was overcapacity in the steel and aluminum sectors, which actually originate from China.
“I am deeply convinced that if we are all totally determined to find a compromise, there is a possibility, even on aluminum and steel, to avoid sanctions and avoid a kind of new trade war between the two. continents, ”he said.
“The key point is the overcapacity, and the overcapacity in the production of steel and aluminum comes from China. It is not a problem between the United States and the EU,” said Le Maire.