U.S. and European Union negotiators did not reach agreements to settle longstanding trade disputes ahead of a White House summit on Friday.
However, both sides expressed their commitment to continuing negotiations. The key issues on the table included energy subsidies and the steel and aluminum market.
During the meeting, U.S. President Joe Biden, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen discussed various global matters.
They emphasized their unity on issues such as the conflict between Israel and Hamas, support for Ukraine in its ongoing battle against Russia’s invasion, concerns regarding China, and the importance of strengthening economic security, ensuring secure energy transitions, and reinforcing multilateralism and international cooperation.
While acknowledging their differences, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate and find solutions that benefit businesses and workers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Trade negotiators worked urgently to prevent the U.S. from reinstating import tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, which were originally imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018. Ultimately, they agreed to maintain the status quo while continuing negotiations.
The joint statement released after the meeting highlighted the substantial progress made in identifying the sources of non-market excess capacity in steel and aluminum industries and measuring their emissions intensity.
It also expressed the intention to make further progress on these objectives in the next two months.
The U.S. administration indicated its willingness to extend tariff rate quotes (TRQs) if additional time for negotiations was required, ensuring certainty for the industry, workers, and EU partners.
The United Steelworkers (USW) International labor union welcomed the Biden administration’s commitment to protect domestic steel and aluminum workers and expressed support for this approach.
The summit did not result in a deal to address the impact of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act on European producers.
This act provides tax incentives to consumers who purchase electric vehicles (EVs) assembled in North America. Negotiations on allowing critical minerals mined or processed in Europe to qualify for these tax credits will continue in the coming weeks.
In summary, while the U.S. and the EU did not resolve all their trade disputes during the summit, they demonstrated their commitment to ongoing negotiations and cooperation on a range of global issues.