Steel Manufacturers Association Comments on Global Arrangement Talks

The Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) commented today on trade discussions related to today’s summit meeting in Washington, where President Joseph R. Biden welcomed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

Negotiators appear to have made some modest progress, but both sides still have a long way to go to reach mutual agreement on some key issues. 

“It is important to the domestic steel industry that the tariff rate quota (TRQ) system implemented in 2021 remains in place as negotiations continue,” SMA President Philip K. Bell said.

The TRQs replaced Section 232 tariffs that had prompted Europe to respond with tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imported American goods and are seen as a major compromise of the part of the United States.

Bell added, “Any proposal that holds open eliminating the TRQ’s for Europe before non-market excess capacity and climate issues are fully resolved should be unacceptable.  We appreciate USTR for staying strong and not caving in to the EU’s current demands.”

“The ultimate goal is undistorted transatlantic trade with our EU allies,” said Bell. “It might be later than October 31 before we have more details, and that is understandable given the complexity of the negotiations. We appreciate Ambassador Tai and her team for consulting with and giving regular briefings to the steel industry on the progress of the talks.”

An agreement between the United States and Europe on steel and aluminum would give preferential treatment to steel made with lower carbon emissions and reduce the economic threat to American and European steelmakers posed by steel from non-market economies that have excess steel capacity.