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Statement by President von der Leyen on a new Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement and EU-US steel and aluminium dispute

Statement given yesterday by President von der Leyen on a new Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement and EU-US steel and aluminium dispute.

Thank you very much Mr President, dear Joe,

And I am also very pleased to announce that Mr President, you and I, we have today agreed to suspend the tariffs on steel and aluminium, and to start the work on a new Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement. And this marks a milestone in the renewed EU-US partnership. And it is a global first in our efforts to achieve the decarbonisation of the global steel production and trade. It is a big step forward in fighting climate change. The arrangement is of course open to all like-minded partners.

Steel manufacturing is one of the highest carbon emission sources globally. And for steel consumption and trade to be sustainable, we must address the carbon intensity of the industry. We must also address problems of overcapacity. This is what the Global Sustainable Steel Arrangement is all about. We will work together with the United States to ensure the long-term viability of our industry, and to encourage the production and trade of low-carbon steel.

This new global initiative will add a new powerful tool in our quest for sustainability. It will be a major step forward in achieving climate neutrality. And it will ensure a level playing field for our industries. It is yet another key initiative for our renewed, forward-looking transatlantic agenda with the United States.

Since the beginning of the year, as you said Mr President, dear Joe, we have restored trust and communication. We put to rest our disputes on aircraft subsidies. We set up our Trade and Technology Council. We created a vaccine partnership. We reached an agreement on global minimum tax. And now, we have found a solution on EU-US steel and aluminium trade.

I thank you Mr President, dear Joe, for your announcement that the United States will remove US tariffs on EU steel and aluminium up to previous trade levels. This will alleviate a major part of the existing trade irritants. It will allow transatlantic trade in steel and aluminium between us to come back to the levels recorded before these tariffs were put in place. Following this US decision, I am pleased to announce that the Commission will also propose to suspend the tariffs that we had introduced.   

I am also pleased to join President Biden in announcing the pausing of our dispute on this issue at the World Trade Organisation. And, as you did, Mr President, dear Joe, I would like to thank Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis for their and their team's tireless effort in the last months. This is a major step forward in our renewed relationship and many thanks for that. I am looking forward to working more on this deal.

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