US, EU Agree on Trump Steel Tariffs

Tensions among nations had been rising along with costs
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2021 4:05 PM CDT
US, EU Compromise on Trump Tariffs
Some amount of steel will be allowed into the US without facing tariffs under the new agreement.   (Getty/zhengzaishuru)

US and EU negotiators have reached a broad agreement to dial back tensions over steel and aluminum tariffs imposed under former President Trump. Under the deal, NPR reports, US tariffs will stay in place, but an unspecified amount of steel and aluminum from the European Union will be allowed into US markets free of tariffs. Biden administration officials said Saturday that the EU will cancel its retaliatory retail tariffs affecting high-profile American industries that were scheduled to increase next month.

In addition to causing a rift among allies, the tariffs increased the cost of steel to US companies and hurt EU producers—without meeting Trump's goal of creating jobs at American steel mills. Manufacturing jobs in primary metals now number about half the total in 1990, per the AP. Trump imposed tariffs were 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, saying that foreign-produced goods, even from US allies, threatened national security. Other nations howled, and global markets plunged. American-made motorcycles, bourbon, peanut butter, and other products were soon hit with tariffs.

The deal was announced in Rome during the G-20 economic summit. For the US, the agreement appears to be an attempt to officially keep the tariffs while trying to curb the higher costs brought on by the charges, per NPR. The EU had made a few moves to ease the conflict, freezing planned tariff increases. American whiskey, taxed at 25%, dodged an increase to 50%. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States welcomed the change, after what CEO Chris Swonger described as "three very difficult years of sagging American whiskey exports." (Read more tariffs stories.)

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