Sustainable steel and aluminum, EU and US start discussion on global agreement


The President of the European Commission von der Leyen and the President of the United States, Joe Biden, agreed on Sunday to begin discussions on a global agreement on sustainable steel and aluminium. This marks a new milestone in the transatlantic relationship and in the EU-US efforts to achieve decarbonisation of the global steel and aluminium industries in the fight against climate change. The two presidents also agreed to put on hold the bilateral disputes of the World Trade Organisation on Steel and Aluminium. This is based on our recent successes in restarting transatlantic trade relations, such as the launch of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council and the suspension of tariffs in Boeing-Airbus disputes. The production of steel and aluminium is one of the highest sources of carbon emissions globally. In order for steel and aluminium production and trade to be sustainable, we need to address the carbon intensity of industry, together with the problems of overcapacity. The global agreement will seek to ensure the long-term viability of our industries, to encourage the production of and trade in low-carbon steel and aluminium and to restore market-oriented conditions. The agreement will be open to all partners who feel the same way. Furthermore, following the announcement by the United States that it will remove the tariffs in Section 232 on EU steel and aluminium exports up to past trade volumes, the European Union will take steps to suspend its rebalancing measures against the United States. The two parties also agreed to put on hold their respective WTO disputes on this issue.