Industry News

US and EU Appear to Have Trade Truce Through March 2025

Dec. 19, 2023
By: David G. Forgue

Since 2018 the United States has imposed special duties on imports of steel and aluminum into the country. With some notable exceptions these duties were imposed on imports from all countries. In response the European Union imposed duties on certain United States exports to the EU. However, in 2022 the two decided to call a truce, with the EU suspending its tariffs and the US setting tariff rate quota amounts for EU-produced steel imports to avoid the special duties.

This truce has worked relatively well, giving US exporters better access to the EU market and US importers of EU steel some framework to predict their costs. However, that truce was set to expire on December 31, 2023. Compounding the issue, steel and aluminum are both tied up in larger trade issues related to sustainability and carbon use. Therefore, reaching a final resolution to this trade conflict by December 31, 2023 was not possible.

Recognizing the value of the truce and the impossibility of resolving the larger issues with steel and aluminum by December 31, 2023 (if ever), the EU announced today that the terms of the truce had been renewed to March 2025. This is intentionally after the next Presidential election in the United States, when the winning administration will likely have its own perspective on the issue.

Importantly, the renewal of the truce means that EU steel products remain eligible for exclusions from 232 duties if granted by Commerce. This has been a boon to some importers because instead of being concerned about the quarterly quota amount left for their imports they know that they have an annual 232-free tonnage available to them.

If you have any questions about steel or aluminum imports or want to seek an exclusion from 232 duties do not hesitate to contact any attorney at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn, LLP.