EU, US agree to temporarily suspend tariffs in steel dispute


BRUSSELS — The European Union and the United States have decided to temporarily suspend measures at the heart of a steel tariff dispute that is seen as one of the major trade issues dividing the two sides.

With the decision, “we are walking the talk in our efforts to reboot the transatlantic relationship,” said EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis.

The issue goes back to the tariffs that then-President Donald Trump slapped on EU steel and aluminum, which enraged Europeans and other allies by calling their metals a threat to U.S. national security. The Article 232 proceeding both hurts European producers and has raised the cost of steel for American companies.

Europe retaliated by raising tariffs on U.S.-made motorcycles, bourbon, peanut butter and jeans, among other items.

“By suspending our measures, we are creating the space to resolve these issues before the end of the year,” said Dombrovskis.

U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with EU leaders in mid-June to discuss a new relationship after the bloc’s disruptive relationship with Trump.

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