US, EU announce tariff cuts on steel and aluminum on last day of G-20


ROME – President Joe Biden announced at the G-20 summit on Sunday that the United States had reached a deal to cut tariffs on billions of dollars of European steel and aluminum, mitigating a trade war that had put straining transatlantic relations since the Trump administration.

In a joint appearance, Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the United States and the EU would restore trade flows to pre-2018 levels, when the then president Donald Trump has outraged some of the United States’ closest allies by hitting them with the sharp new tariffs. In return, the EU will lift retaliatory tariffs on American products and not go ahead with a new wave of tariffs it had planned to implement on December 1.

“Together, the United States and the European Union are ushering in a new era of transatlantic cooperation that will benefit all of our citizens, now and I believe, in the years to come,” said Biden.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the US-EU deal meets President Joe Biden’s “mission to turn the page on past disputes and open a new chapter in transatlantic relations. reinforced “.

Officials in the Biden administration have argued that the deal will protect American workers, lower costs for American consumers, and solve supply chain problems. Raimondo also said the deal takes “carbon intensity” into account and would allow steel and aluminum manufacturing that is “significantly cleaner” than what is produced in China.

Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday morning for a one-on-one meeting before attending the second G-20 plenary session.

When asked if he plans to sell F-16 planes to Turkey, Biden replied, “We plan to have a good conversation.”

Turkey asked to buy the F-16 fighters from the US, but the deal was complicated by Ankara’s decision to buy air defense russian missile system. Biden did not respond to reporters’ questions about Turkey’s human rights record and whether the country had gotten too close to Russia.

In a statement following the meeting, the White House said Biden had “reaffirmed our defense partnership and Turkey’s importance as a NATO ally, but noted the concerns of states- United on Turkey’s Possession of the Russian S-400 Missile System “. The president also “underlined his willingness to maintain constructive relations, expand areas of cooperation and effectively manage our disagreements,” said the White House.

Sunday’s G-20 sessions were to focus on climate change and the environment as well as sustainable development.

“The cost of action – however it may seem – is insignificant compared to the cost of inaction,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in his opening speech. “The fight against climate change literally involves the whole world. We are united in success and failure.”

In the afternoon, Biden hosted an event on “Global Supply Chain Resilience through Pandemic and Recovery,” according to his official schedule.

Biden announced new steps the United States will take to strengthen supply chain resilience, including streamlining United States storage efforts, increasing funding for international trade facilitation activities, and training. of a multi-party summit next year.

“I urge all of you to consider strengthening your stocks essential to the national security of your country,” he said at the event on Sunday.

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken global supply chains as factories shut down and consumer behavior changed dramatically overnight. Supply chain problems persisted as many Western countries began to emerge from the pandemic eager to return to more regular spending habits, while some countries like China stay under Covid restrictions and unable to meet demand.

The imbalance in the supply chain has led to a shortage of goods – everything from computer chips children’s toys and running shoes – as well as a price hike for consumers that threatened to delay the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Following Sunday’s meeting, heads of state will issue a joint communiqué, the statement that G-20 leaders will issue at the end of the summit outlining their priorities and the actions they have agreed to take. G-20 members are expected to officially approve the 15 percent global corporate minimum tax in Sunday’s statement.

The joint statement is not legally binding, but rather is based on “the good behavior of others,” according to Jeff Dayton-Johnson, dean of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

“It’s easy enough to be skeptical about whether or not [communiques] are effective, ”Dayton-Johnson said. “But if the G-20 makes a statement that commits member countries to more cooperation on global taxation, then there are a lot of political forces in the G-20 countries that can keep up the pressure on their governments to they adhere to these agreements. “

Biden was planning to hold a press conference on Sunday evening before traveling to Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations climate summit, known as the COP.

Teaganne finn contributed.

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