The Biden administration reached an agreement with the European Union on Saturday to ease Trump-era sanctions on aluminum and steel, officials announced, another step in deescalating tensions with European allies as Biden travels to Rome for the G20 summit.
“The President has said that one of the key goals of his presidency is to demonstrate that democracies can deliver results for their people, especially working people, and solve the challenges of the 21st century, and two of the greatest of those challenges is the threat of climate change and the economic threat posed by unfair competition by China,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Saturday. “Today’s deal with the EU delivers on that promise by making headway on both fronts.”
In 2018, Trump announced a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum to shore up the struggling industries, drawing stiff rebuke from US manufacturers of products made using steel and aluminum, which maintained that the tariffs would cost jobs in their operations and increase consumer prices. On Saturday’s call, Sullivan called the tariffs “one of the largest bilateral irritants in the US-EU relationship.”
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