Customs duties are suspended until March 31, 2025
The EU has suspended duties on US products until March 31, 2025, in the context of the steel and aluminum dispute. This is stated in the message of the European Commission.
First introduced during the Trump presidency, European tariffs on imports from the United States were a response to the US Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum.
The extension of the suspension is the result of an agreement reached with the United States. In exchange, the United States retains the possibility of duty-free imports from the EU under the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system introduced in January 2022. In addition, the US side agreed to provide further exemptions for EU exporters.
This step will allow EU steel and aluminum exporters to save about €1.5 billion annually on tariffs. The United States must complete its own procedures to extend the TRQ system for exports of these products from January 1, 2024.
«This long-term suspension of tariffs gives businesses on both sides of the Atlantic confidence, facilitating the smooth flow of trade,» the EC said in a statement.
The European Commission also noted that the EU will continue to engage constructively with the United States to protect its rights and ultimately eliminate Section 232 tariffs on exports from the bloc. In addition, the parties continue to work on solving the problem of global overcapacity and decarbonization of the steel and aluminum industries in the context of discussing the Global Sustainable Steel and Aluminum Agreement (GSA).
«The mutual extension of the tariff suspension provides the necessary time and political space to reach an agreement on the remaining GSA issues,» the EC noted.
In 2018, the US imposed tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports worth €6.4 billion. In response, the EU imposed import duties on US exports to its market worth €2.8 billion. In 2022, the EU suspended its measures completely until the end of 2023 to allow time to work together on a long-term solution. The US replaced Section 232 tariffs with a system of tariff quotas based on historical trade volumes. Shipments in excess of the quota are still subject to tariffs.
Last year, the EU exported 3.8 million tons of steel to the US, of which 1.7 million tons were duty-free. In addition, according to the US administration, the US granted additional exemptions to EU exporters for 1.5 million tons.
As GMK Center reported earlier, according to experts, both the USA and the EU want to provide their economies to thrive under climate-safe trade policies like the GSA, but policymakers need more time to agree on the details.