Band David Lawder

WASHINGTON, September 28 (Reuters)The European Union stands ready to seek solutions to its steel and aluminum trade dispute with the United States which incorporates elements of the import surveillance and safeguard agreements that Washington has reached with Canada and Mexico in 2019, the EU’s trade chief said on Tuesday.

European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters ahead of the US-EU trade and technology summit on Wednesday that time is running out for a deal to lift US tariffs on steel made in the EU by the end of November deadline.

He said a deal was due in early November, as it would likely take around a month to be implemented before a truce expired that suspended an escalation in retaliatory EU tariffs on US goods. .

“On other solutions that have been found with other countries – with Canada, with Mexico and also other countries – we are ready to look at what types of different solutions and what is potentially useful … in the case of the EU, ”Dombrovskis said. .

Dombrovskis declined to say what items might be acceptable to Europe, but the U.S. agreements with Canada and Mexico removed tariffs on metals in exchange for a strict surveillance regime to prevent transshipment or dumping of third country products to the United States.

If imports from Canada or Mexico “significantly exceed historical volumes over a period of time”, the United States may request consultations, after which it retains the right to reimpose 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum. Retaliation from American neighbors for such tariffs would be limited to steel and aluminum products.

The Trump administration imposed Section 232 tariffs in March 2018, claiming that increased imports threatened U.S. national security by weakening domestic producers.

The European Union retaliated by imposing tariffs on bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and other products made in the United States, but the two sides agreed in May not to escalate the dispute as they began disputes. negotiations to resolve it.

Brazil and South Korea have agreed with the United States on a more traditional-style TRQ agreement that allows duty-free imports below certain volumes.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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