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By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) on Tuesday welcomed the Biden administration’s commitment to tackle the problem of excess global steel capacity with the European Union , but warned that a significant change would take time.
Group chairman Kevin Dempsey said it was essential that Washington maintain “strong and effective trade measures to prevent increases in steel imports from around the world that could quickly undermine U.S. industry and our security. national “.
The comments came after a US-EU summit where the two sides agreed to suspend tariffs in two cases involving aircraft subsidies, saying the move would boost cooperation in other areas, including steel. and aluminum.
The EU had pushed Washington to agree to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by December 1, but US officials refused to commit to the deadline, aware of the complexity of the process. reach a broader agreement on the long-simmering dispute.
US and EU officials have agreed to discuss US tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum imposed three years ago under former President Donald Trump, before the end of the year, and to fight against the excess capacity of the market, especially in China.
US officials face conflicting demands from US steel industry groups and unions, who want the tariffs to stay in place, and from US manufacturers who use steel and aluminum, who want them removed. .
“Tariffs 232 on steel and aluminum should never have been applied to our allies in the first place. They only served to increase the costs of products made in America relative to foreign competitors,” he said. declared the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU).
Steel producer Dempsey said the market situation was constantly changing and it would be difficult to find a bilateral solution to what was essentially a multilateral problem, especially as lower tariffs could trigger surges in prices. imports.
“We’re pretty much at the start of this process – the US-EU talks on steel,” he said. “The real work has yet to be done.” (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Richard Pullin)