Negotiations for the GASSA initiative between the US and the EU have been extended from Oct 31 till the end of the year. The initiative is aimed at developing common rules for trade in the steel and aluminum sectors.
Oct 21, 2023
The United States and the European Union have been unable to reach an agreement on a Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (GASSA) at a summit in Washington, but have extended the deadline for negotiations until the end of the year. The GASSA initiative is aimed at developing common rules for trade in the steel and aluminum sectors in order to restore market conditions in the international steel markets and to limit the CO2 intensity of steel and aluminum in all types of production. The original deadline to wrap up GASSA negotiations was set on Oct. 31, but the two sides have been unable to agree on the specific areas of contention that still need to be addressed. The EU is pushing for the removal of tariff rate quotas, or TRQ as part of a final deal, while the US wants to establish new trade measures that can effectively address the issue of non-market excess capacity in steel.
The joint statement said, “Throughout these two years, we have made substantial progress to identify the sources of non-market excess capacity.” We have also achieved a better understanding of the tools to address the emissions intensity of the steel and aluminum industries. We look forward to continuing to make progress on these important objectives in the next two months.”
The steel industry in Germany and Europe is in the midst of a transformation to climate neutrality, and the extension of the GASSA deadline will give them more time to find common solutions and agree on effective measures. In the face of the current market downturn, the European metals industry is especially keen to promote exports, and the extension of the deadline could also help them to achieve this goal.
Kevin Dempsey, CEO of the US-based American Iron and Steel Institute said, “the industry appreciates the US government’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a new international arrangement to address both non-market excess capacity in steel and the carbon intensity of steel imported from around the world, but is disappointed that to date the EU has not been prepared to agree to US proposals to establish new trade measures that can effectively address these two key issues, which are critical to the future of both the US and EU steel industries.”
German Steel Association President Bernhard Osburg said in a statement, the group regrets that “a great opportunity has been missed here and now appeals to the EU Commission to use the time until the end of the year to look for common solutions and agree on effective measures. Time is of the essence: The steel industry in Germany and Europe is in the midst of the transformation to climate neutrality and thus in an extremely vulnerable phase.”