EU Tells Biden to “Walk the Talk”

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine)  –  On Wednesday, Brussels gave President Joe Biden a message that he should “Walk the Talk” at the summit meeting next week. Biden needs to “take concrete action to unwind tariffs that poisoned transatlantic relations under Donald Trump.”

It is hoped that EU-U.S. ties will be strengthened on June 15 when top EU officials will meet with Biden. However, Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission’s trade chief, believes that Biden has kept “several measures imposed by Trump” alive and that these measures will ignite a transatlantic trade war.

Trump had “cited national security to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.” Brussels believes that these measures are unjustified. There is also a dispute started by the EU that the U.S. carries “subsidies for their respective aircraft-building champions Airbus and Boeing.”

Dombrovski announced to the members of the European Parliament on Wednesday that “we want to make decisive progress to resolve our bilateral disputes on aircraft and measures on steel and aluminum.” Dombrovski continued that he hopes “the summit can deliver a positive trade agenda.” Dombrovski then added as a last thought that he hopes that “de-escalating and solving the EU-U.S. trade disputes will be a trusting and confidence-building measure.”

Brussels – in mid-May – “extended an olive branch by not escalating retaliatory tariffs against U.S. steel and aluminum duties.” Both sides have agreed to have talks that will address “global steel and aluminum excess capacity.” Brussels and Washington, D.C., both agreed – back in March – to stop retaliatory tariffs in the Airbus-Boeing argument and look for a permanent solution.

However, “the tariff suspension on imports of U.S. goods an only be granted for a maximum period of six months, whereas the EU and the U.S. had agreed to suspend the retaliatory aircraft tariffs for four months.”

EU diplomats said recently that any negotiations that could have happened before the summit next week have not yet occurred. No permanent solutions have happened. However, leaders pledge to try to resolve the problems before the deadlines.

According to the draft conclusions of the summit seen by Politico, “We commit to make every effort possible to find comprehensive and durable solutions to our trade disputes, and to avoid further retaliatory measures burdening transatlantic trade.”


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