US and EU agree to ‘pause’ trade war over steel

ROME — The European Union and the U.S. have agreed to “pause” their trade war over steel and aluminum tariffs, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said today.

“We have agreed with [the United States] to pause our steel & aluminium (232) trade dispute and launch cooperation on a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel & Aluminium,” Dombrovskis posted on Twitter, referring to the Section 232 duties that former U.S. President Donald Trump imposed on the grounds of national security.

EU diplomats had predicted an imminent deal on Friday, but cautioned it would only be a temporary cessation rather than a complete end to hostilities. It was also expected that the parties would agree to work jointly on topics such as greener steel production and fighting overcapacity in China.

Dombrovskis said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. President Joe Biden would formally announce the deal on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit, which they are attending in Rome.

The fight over steel and aluminum has been a major source of contention between the EU and the U.S. since Trump imposed punitive tariffs in 2018.

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