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EU-US summit: an opportunity to boost transatlantic cooperation
On Friday, 20 October 2023, EU and US leaders will convene in Washington, DC, for the second EU-US summit under the current Administrations. This is an opportunity to solidify an ambitious transatlantic agenda after both sides intensified their cooperation over the last few years, not least through the Trade and Technology Council. The meeting takes place amidst geopolitical tensions that further highlight the need for EU-US leadership.
The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU) urges President Biden, President Michel and President von der Leyen to use the summit as an opportunity to reiterate their strong commitment to the world’s largest and deepest relationship and the importance of transatlantic collaboration in strategic sectors. Three priorities deserve particular focus: finding a longstanding solution to the steel and aluminium tariff dispute and establish a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminium (GSA); diversifying and strengthening critical mineral supply chains; and reaffirming their unwavering support for Ukraine.
Steel and aluminium tariffs
In 2021, the EU and the US announced a two-year pause in the transatlantic trade dispute over steel and aluminium tariffs and the start of negotiations on a GSA. If no solution is found by 31 October, tariffs will be reimposed as of 1 January 2024, hurting jobs, prosperity and security on both sides of the Atlantic. The EU and the US should reach an agreement to permanently remove reciprocal tariffs before the start of 2024. The new system should comply with World Trade Organization rules and maintain the possibility of including like-minded countries in the initiative. If no agreement is reached, the two parties should extend the deadline.
Critical raw materials
In March 2023, the EU and the US agreed to open negotiations on a Critical Minerals Agreement in order to diversify their supply chains and alleviate some of the European concerns over specific provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. As leaders meet in Washington for the EU-US Summit, they must prioritise the finalisation of the deal. Any agreement should lay out clear parameters for industry, bilaterally eliminate export duties on a range of critical minerals used in battery production and apply existing international labour standards in mineral extraction and processing. Additionally, transatlantic partners could develop joint extraction or processing ventures in third countries through the EU Global Gateway project or the US/G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.
In light of the continued war at the EU’s doorstep, the EU and the US must continue to support Ukraine. Transatlantic unity is a critical priority. The public and private sectors should be prepared to play an important role in planning for the country’s recovery and supporting its future economic prosperity. Ensuring respect for the rule of law will be important to enable meaningful engagement from all stakeholders.
The American business community in Europe stands behind every effort to advance transatlantic cooperation. AmCham EU looks forward to a productive EU-US summit that sets a clear direction towards more EU-US alignment and action on global challenges such as climate change, geopolitical tensions and the resilience of supply chains.