President Biden on Sunday hailed an end to a long-festering trade war with the European Union over steel and aluminum tariffs issued by his predecessor, President Trump.
Speaking alongside the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Rome, Biden said it was a “testament to the power of our strong partnership and to what the US can accomplish by working together with our friends.”
Trump enacted the tariffs in 2018, claiming that foreign imports harmed national security. Europe responded with tariffs of its own on American products, including Kentucky bourbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles.
On Saturday, US officials said the tariffs would be eased, though not removed entirely. Some quantities of European aluminum and steel will now be allowed to enter the US tariff-free.
In his remarks, Biden said going forward, both the US and Europe would address ways to reduce the carbon intensity of steel manufacturing.
He said the new agreement “demonstrates how by harnessing our diplomatic and economic power, we can reject the false idea that we can't grow our economy and support American workers while tackling the climate crisis.”
“These arrangements will one lift up US aluminum and steel, which is among the greatest steel in the world — that is somewhat prejudice on my behalf — incentivize emission reductions in one of the most carbon intensive sectors of the global economy; restrict access to our markets for dirty steel from countries like China, and counter countries that dumped steel in our markets, hammering our workers,” Biden said.
“As we move forward we’re going to continue together to update the rules of the road and the 21st century economy and prove to the world that democracies — democracies — are taking on hard problems and delivering sound solutions,” Biden added.