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The European Union wants to resolve the dispute with the United States over steel tariffs by December

The acquisition of US President Joe Biden provides new impetus to Atlantic relations.

© SAUL LOEB

WASHINGTON – The European Union (EU) wants to expedite a dispute with the United States over reciprocal import tariffs on steel and aluminum. The two sides “are making an effort to raise all special and punitive fees (…) before December 1, 2021,” the AFP news agency said in a draft joint report on Tuesday. The text is due to be adopted at the EU-US summit on June 15, and may change until then.

Under former US President Donald Trump, trade relations between the EU and the United States have deteriorated dramatically. Trump, who accused the EU of unfair competition, imposed sanctions on steel and aluminum products from Europe. Brussels responded with charges on American goods, including whiskey, jeans, orange juice and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

The EU has not taken any counter-measures

When President Joe Biden took office, the relationship soured considerably. In May, Brussels and Washington began talks to resolve the trade dispute. In a gesture to Biden, the European Union announced that it was “temporarily” withdrawing from further countermeasures due to US penalties imposed in 2018. Brussels previously reserved the right to impose further fees until June 2021, if no solution was found before then.

In Brussels, there is great hope that the first private meeting between EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel with Biden will significantly improve Atlantic relations since Trump took office. According to the draft announcement, cooperation in regulating large technology companies and dealing with China should be discussed at the summit.

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The text also reaffirms its desire to reach an agreement on the two-decade-old Airbus-Boeing dispute by July 11. It is also about the penalties imposed by Brussels and Washington on each other in a dispute over government assistance to two aircraft manufacturers. (APA, AFP)