President Joe Biden addresses the May Jobs Report on June 4, 2021 at the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Convention Center.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON — The European Union wants the United States to commit to ending its airline-related tariffs next week, according to a draft statement seen by The Washington City Times as both sides aim to get the transatlantic relationship back on track.
The EU also hopes that President Joe Biden, who will meet in Brussels for a summit early next week, will pledge to end steel and aluminum tariffs by December this year, according to the EU’s document.
The European Council, the institution organizing the summit, is responsible for drafting the joint statement that the leaders will see the green light. Bloomberg first announced the news.
An EU official, who declined to be named due to the sensitive nature of the subject, told The Washington City Times that the European Union wants to “push” the United States to agree on a trade tariff easing that emerged during Donald Trump. presidency.
So far, however, there is “no clear sign” that the US will sign what the EU wants, the same official added. The U.S. government was not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning when The Washington City Times contacted them.
The EU-US During the previous US administration, the relationship hit rock bottom, with Trump often criticizing Europe for being worse than China with its trade practices.
Trump imposed tariffs worth $7.5 billion on European products after the World Trade Organization ruled that the EU had given unfair subsidies to Airbus. Shortly afterwards, the EU also imposed duties worth $4 billion on US products as a result of another WTO ruling that the US had also provided illegal aid to Boeing. The dispute arose in 2004.
Separately, in 2018, the Trump presidency decided to impose a 25% tariff on European steel and a 10% excise tax on European aluminum on grounds of national security – something the EU vehemently opposed and retaliated against. . A first round of tariffs worth €2.8 billion ($3.4 billion) was implemented by the EU and a new round of €3.6 billion is set to start this month.
However, the EU decided last month to suspend these metal-related tasks as a sign of good faith to boost negotiations.
A ‘symbolic’ encounter
Next week’s summit is the first EU-US. high-level meeting since 2014.
“The engagement has a lot of symbolic value,” Niclas Frederic Poitiers, a research fellow at the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, told The Washington City Times last week.
“The summit will place a lot of emphasis on ‘this relationship can still work,'” he added.
The tone between EU and US officials has changed since Biden’s election in 2020, with European leaders not shying away from expressing their delight at the election results.
However, experts say the jury is still out on how much joint cooperation there will be between the Biden administration and the EU.
“There is little doubt that President Biden is committed to working with US partners in Europe, but not at any cost,” Leslie Vinjamuri, director of the US-America program at Chatham House, told The Washington City Times.
“President Biden has a very clear bottom line and it comes down to this policy having to work for Americans. It’s also pretty clear that any common policy has to fit the political climate at home, especially when it comes to trade, technology and China. she added.