The tariff battle between the European Union and the United States appears to be fading. The EU and United States announced that planned tariff increases by the EU on American-made boats and engines from 25% to 50% on June 1 will not take place. Instead, it will remain at 25%. This is a feather in the cap of new National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) president Frank Hugelmeyer and the new U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Romando, the former governor of Rhode Island who was well aware of the pain the potential tariff would cause to American builders.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo today announced the start of discussions to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity. During a virtual meeting last week, the leaders acknowledged the need for effective solutions that preserve our critical industries, and agreed to chart a path that ends the WTO disputes following the U.S. application of tariffs on imports from the EU under section 232.
Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis, Ambassador Tai, and Secretary Raimondo acknowledged the impact on their industries stemming from global excess capacity driven largely by third parties. The distortions that result from this excess capacity pose a serious threat to the market-oriented EU and U.S. steel and aluminum industries and the workers in those industries. They agreed that, as the United States and EU Member States are allies and partners, sharing similar national security interests as democratic, market economies, they can partner to promote high standards, address shared concerns, and hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies to account.
They agreed to enter into discussions on the mutual resolution of concerns in this area that addresses steel and aluminum excess capacity and the deployment of effective solutions, including appropriate trade measures, to preserve our critical industries. To ensure the most constructive environment for these joint efforts, they agreed to avoid changes on these issues that negatively affect bilateral trade. They committed to engaging in these discussions expeditiously to find solutions before the end of the year that will demonstrate how the U.S. and EU can address excess capacity, ensure the long-term viability of our steel and aluminum industries, and strengthen our democratic alliance.