President Joe Biden speaks about the May Job Report at the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Convention Center on June 4, 2021.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – The European Union wants the United States to commit to ending its aircraft-related tariffs next week, according to a draft statement viewed by CNBC, as both sides seek to get the transatlantic relationship back on track.
The EU also hopes that President Joe Biden, who will attend a summit in Brussels early next week, will promise an end to steel and aluminum tariffs before December this year, according to the EU document.
The European Council, the body hosting the summit, is responsible for preparing the joint declaration that the heads of state or government will give the green light. Bloomberg reported the news first.
An EU official, who refused to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, told CNBC that the European Union is “pushing” the United States to agree to ease trade tariffs that became known during Donald Trump’s reign Presidency.
So far, however, there has been “no clear sign” that the US will join the EU’s wishes, added the same official. The U.S. administration was not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning when it was contacted by CNBC.
Relations between the EU and the US hit rock bottom during the previous US administration, with Trump often criticizing Europe for being worse than China in its trade practices.
Trump imposed tariffs of $ 7.5 billion on European products after the World Trade Organization ruled that the EU had given Airbus unfair subsidies. Shortly afterwards, following another WTO ruling that the US had also granted Boeing illegal aid, the EU imposed tariffs of US $ 4 billion on US products. The dispute first arose in 2004.
The summit will attach great importance to “this relationship can still work”.
Niclas Frederic Poitiers
research associate, Bruegel
Separately, the Trump presidency decided in 2018 to impose a 25% tariff on European steel and a 10% tariff on European aluminum for national security reasons – something the EU vehemently opposed and opposed. A first round of tariffs worth 2.8 billion euros (3.4 billion US dollars) has been introduced by the EU and another round worth 3.6 billion euros should start this month.
However, the EU decided last month to suspend these metal-related tariffs as a show of goodwill in order to kick-start negotiations.
A “symbolic” meeting
Next week’s summit will be the first high-level meeting between the EU and the US since 2014.
“The commitment has a lot of symbolic value,” Niclas Frederic Poitiers, research fellow from the Brussels think tank Bruegel, told CNBC last week.
“The summit will put a lot of emphasis on ensuring that this relationship can still work,” he added.
The tone between EU and US officials has changed since Biden was elected in 2020, and European leaders aren’t afraid to express their delight at the election result.
However, experts say the jury is still open about how much joint collaboration there will be between the Biden administration and the EU.
“There is no doubt that President Biden is committed to working with America’s partners in Europe, but not at any cost,” Leslie Vinjamuri, director of the US and America programs at Chatham House, told CNBC.
“President Biden has a very clear bottom line, and that bottom line is that this policy has to work for Americans. It’s also pretty clear that any common policy has to fit the political climate at home, especially when it comes to trade and technology, “and China,” she added.