US, EU agree to settle dispute over metals tariffs

The United States says it has reached a deal with the European Union to settle a dispute over US steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by former president Donald Trump.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the agreement on Saturday.

The Trump administration had imposed additional taxes on EU steel and aluminum imports in June 2018, citing a security threat. The measure prompted EU members to impose counter-tariffs on some US-made products.

Raimondo said the settlement will maintain additional US tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, while exempting tariffs on "limited volumes" of EU-produced metals imported into the US.

The deal at the same time eliminates the EU's retaliatory tariffs.

Raimondo said low-priced steel products from China have hit the US steel industry hard. She said Washington and the EU agreed to cooperate on approaching the issue.

Observers say the Biden administration apparently mended ties with the EU over trade in order to compete with China, which it regards as the US' biggest rival.