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Aluminium|Steel
Aluminium|Steel
aluminium|steel

EU, US could agree on critical minerals despite steel failure, says France

20th October 2023

By: Reuters

  

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VALENCIA - The European Union and the United States could reach a deal on critical minerals over the coming weeks or months despite their failure to agree an accord on steel and aluminium, French Trade Minister Olivier Becht said on Friday.

US and EU trade negotiators had hoped to agree on how to end Trump-era metals tariffs and to lessen the impact of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by Friday in time for a meeting between US President Joe Biden's and top EU officials.

The meeting is now expected to be dominated by the crisis in the Middle East.

"It's clearly a disappointment that we could not advance more quickly with our American friends. The discussions were intense and I hope they will restart as soon as possible," Becht said before an EU ministers' meeting on trade in Valencia, Spain.

He said, however, he expected there would be an agreement "in the next weeks, in the next months" so that critical minerals used in electric vehicle batteries sourced from Europe would be eligible for some of the IRA's consumer tax breaks.

"It's in both the interest of Europe and the United States to have this agreement," Becht said.

The United States has suspended import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imposed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018, but on condition both sides agree measures to address overcapacity in non-market economies such as China, and promote greener steel.

They had set an end-October deadline. Negotiators now target a deal by the end of the year.

But the sides are apart as Washington wants the EU to apply the metal tariffs to imports from China and Brussels has said it cannot do so before a year-long investigation to comply with World Trade Organization rules.

Edited by Reuters

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