US agrees to extend truce with Brussels on metals tariffs

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A deal to suspend tariffs on goods shipped between the US and EU is set to be extended until at least the end of 2024, it is reported.

The US has agreed to extend a temporary truce with the EU relating to a dispute on metals tariffs until after next year's presidential election, it has been reported.

It was stated by EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis that both sides have agreed to continue a deal to suspend tariffs on a range of goods in order to avoid additional duties being imposed from January 2024.

The dispute dates back to 2018, when the administration of Donald Trump placed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and ten percent on aluminum imports to the country. The EU responded by adding retaliatory duties to a variety of American exports, including bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

However, in 2021, present Joe Biden's White House agreed a deal with Briussels to temporarily suspend the extra costs. Under this agreement, a quota system is being used instead of tariffs to control imports of metals into the US, with EU exporters paying about €350 million annually on shipments exceeding the agreed limits.

Mr Dombrovskis told the Financial Times: "We are focusing . . . on the extension of the current suspension of tariffs on the US side and our retaliatory tariffs."

He added that the current arrangement is not ideal for the European side, as Brussels is at a disadvantage.

While he did not give a timeline for how long the extension would be, EU insiders have suggested that it would be at least 15 months.

This would push the deadline for reaching a permanent agreement beyond the 2024 US presidential election, in which it is expected that Mr Biden and Mr Trump will face off for a second time.

EU officials have conceded that Mr Biden is reluctant to agree to a permanent lifting of tariffs as he seeks votes from key steelmaking states such as Pennsylvania.