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US-European deal to scrap Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

The United States and the European Union reached an agreement on Saturday to scrap tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports, a dispute that has damaged trade relations between Washington and Brussels since the administration of former President Donald Trump imposed the taxes.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced this “historic” agreement that “will maintain certain tariffs but allow limited amounts of European imports of steel and aluminum to enter the United States duty-free.”

Secretary of State Joe Biden’s administration said in Rome, where the G20 meeting is being held, that EU countermeasures that were due to come into effect on December 1 on products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bourbon whiskey will not be implemented.

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in a tweet, “We agreed with the US to suspend our trade dispute over steel and aluminum and launch cooperation for a global agreement on sustainable steel and aluminium.”

The dispute began in June 2018, when Trump imposed US tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imported from Europe, Asia and others on the pretext of the need to protect national security.

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