The U.S. and the European Union have reached a deal to ease U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that date to former President Donald Trump, levies that were a longstanding irritant to European leaders.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Saturday that the arrangement would maintain the tariffs but would allow limited amounts of European imports to enter the U.S. tariff-free. She said the EU would drop retaliatory tariffs in return and expressed confidence that the deal would ease supply-chain pressure and high prices.
With the new agreement, the U.S. and European officials bring a new focus on “carbon intensity” of metals, which gives preference to cleaner steel produced in the U.S. and Europe using methods and facilities that generate fewer harmful greenhouse gases than in developing nations.
According to the Climate Leadership Council, a Washington policy research group, basic metals made in China generate 80% more carbon dioxide during production than their U.S. counterparts. Russian metals are nearly four times more polluting.