WASHINGTON/ROME, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The United States and European Union have agreed to end a festering dispute over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018, removing an irritant in transatlantic relations and averting a spike in EU retaliatory tariffs, U.S. officials said on Saturday.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters that the deal will maintain U.S. “Section 232” tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% aluminum, while allowing “limited volumes” of EU-produced metals into the United States duty free.
It eliminates a source of friction between the allies and lets them focus on negotiating a new global trade agreement to address worldwide excess steel and aluminum capacity mainly centered in China and reduce carbon emissions from the industries.
EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis confirmed the deal, writing on Twitter https://t.co/FDSrZ3U1Nx that “we have agreed with U.S. to pause” the trade dispute and launch cooperation on a future global arrangement on sustainable steel and aluminum. Dombrovskis said the deal will be formally announced by Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday.
U.S. officials did not specify the volume of…