WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today delivered remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Transatlantic Business Works Summit. In her remarks, Ambassador Tai highlighted USTR’s successful efforts to rebuild the United States’ trade relationship with the European Union and other transatlantic partners in the first year of the Biden-Harris Administration.
In particular, she focused on the United States’ interim agreements with the EU and the UK to resolve the large civil aircraft disputes; the historic arrangement with the EU on steel and aluminum trade; the agreements with Austria, France, Italy, and Spain on Digital Services Taxes; and the creation of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council.
Ambassador Tai’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
Good morning. I want to begin by thanking Arrow for that kind introduction. It is always nice to be introduced by a USTR alum. And I want to thank the Chamber for inviting me today and putting together this important event.
Since taking office in March, I have consistently emphasized this Administration’s commitment to working with Europe to find solutions to the issues that divide us and collaborate on the opportunities we all see to make trade – and especially transatlantic trade – a tool for achieving shared prosperity.
In June, ahead of his first international trip, President Biden stated that the defining question of our time is whether democracies can come together to deliver real results for our people in a rapidly changing world.
Today, I am proud to say we have made tremendous progress answering that question by delivering real results for our citizens.
This summer, we reached interim agreements with the EU and the UK to resolve the 17-year-long Boeing – Airbus disputes. Reaching these agreements was important because they protected thousands of aviation jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and suspended tariffs related to this dispute for five years.
By thinking creatively, and working cooperatively, we were able to put our differences aside and reach an agreement that will ensure the long-term viability of the American and European aerospace sectors, and protect thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic from duties and the effects of non-market financing.
In resolving this disagreement, the United States and European Union can now turn our attention to addressing the harmful, non-market practices in the sector from China that distort the aerospace market and create an uneven playing field for the rest of the world.
Building off that momentum, we intensified talks with the EU on steel and aluminum, and in October, we announced a historic arrangement with the EU that will allow the resumption of duty-free European steel and aluminum into the United States.
As of January 1, the EU will suspend its tariffs on American steel and aluminum, and its retaliatory tariffs on other American products.
This agreement is intended to ensure the long-term viability of the American and European steel and aluminum industries as they compete in the global economy, and strengthen the transatlantic relationship between the U.S. and EU.
It also provides the opportunity for us place ourselves in a stronger position to address global overcapacity from China and toughen our enforcement mechanisms to prevent leakage of unfairly traded steel and aluminum into the U.S. market.
This deal is also a significant win on a top priority the United States and the EU share – fighting climate change. As part of the resolution, the U.S. and the EU have committed to negotiate the first ever carbon-based arrangement on steel and aluminum trade and create greater incentives for reducing carbon intensity across modes of production of steel and aluminum produced by American and European companies.
Finally, in October, we welcomed the announcement of agreements with four European trading partners on Digital Services Taxes that unfairly target U.S. companies.
Austria, France, Italy, and Spain have agreed to remove their digital services taxes upon implementation of Pillar 1 of the OECD international tax agreement.
With these agreements, USTR, working with the Treasury Department, has put to bed the associated Section 301 investigations and the threat of new tariffs.
By resolving all of these trade disputes – in our first year no less – the Biden-Harris Administration is showing what we can accomplish when we work with our allies in a collaborative and creative manner. Taken together, these agreements with our transatlantic trading partners have reopened markets and removed or averted the imposition of over $20 billion in tariffs.
As we acknowledge our successes in addressing longstanding challenges in our trade relationship with the EU, we must also look to the future.
That is why this summer, we announced the creation of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council. As you all know, the U.S. and EU TTC co-chairs held their inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh in September.
It was an opportunity for us to discuss how we can strengthen our transatlantic economic and trade relationship while tackling pressing technological issues in a way that reflects our shared democratic values. I look forward to continuing this dialogue in 2022, and fully expect that the TTC will demonstrate its capacity to generate concrete outcomes that deepen our trading and investment relationship.
This is what President Biden meant when he asked whether democracies can deliver real results for regular people. Our accomplishments in the last year show our commitment to protecting American and European industries, creating jobs, combatting climate change, and delivering economic prosperity to our citizens.
As we look ahead to 2022, I am confident we can continue this momentum and achieve even more.
With that, I’ll turn things back over to Myron as we explore these topics in greater detail. Thank you.