The U.S. and European Union are reportedly nearing a deal to ease Trump-era tariffs placed on European Union steel and aluminum exports to the U.S.
Sources told Bloomberg and Reuters that an agreement could be announced as early as Saturday, as the two aim to strike a deal before EU retaliatory tariffs are set to be raised on U.S. goods December 1.
EU steelmakers would be able to export 3.3 million tons of steel annually to the U.S. duty-free, sources told Reuters, as well as specialized types of steel that had already been granted exclusions from tariffs, which are expected to bring total steel imports from the EU to 4.4 million tons next year.
The tariffs the Trump administration imposed will still remain in place, and would apply to any imports above those levels, Reuters’ sources said.
Forbes has reached out to the U.S. Trade Representative for comment.
President Donald Trump placed a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum from the European Union, Mexico and Canada in June 2018 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, on the grounds of national security. In retaliation, the European Union levied duties on U.S. products including motorcycles and agricultural products worth $7.5 billion. However, in May the European Union opted to temporarily halt some of the tariffs to kickstart negotiations over the trade dispute.
The United Steelworkers and Steel Manufacturing Association and six other steel trade groups across the U.S. sent President Joe Biden a letter in May, following the truce between the U.S. and EU, asking to keep the tariffs in place. According to the companies, the tariffs were a necessity due to steel import surges driven by “global steel overcapacity” which “threatened our industry and the nearly two million jobs it supports.” They went on to say the tariffs have helped “restart idled mills” and “rehire laid-off workers.”