WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today delivered remarks and participated in a moderated Q&A at a virtual event hosted by the Institute for International and European Affairs. Ambassador Tai discussed the future of transatlantic trade and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to the U.S.-EU alliance. Ambassador Tai pointed to several accomplishments over the last year that have strengthened this trade relationship and how we work together to tackle shared challenges.
Ambassador Tai’s embargoed remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
Thank you, Ambassador Collins, for that kind introduction. I also want to thank the IIEA for hosting me today.
I am looking forward to an engaging and thoughtful discussion with Ambassador Collins and all of you on what the future of U.S. transatlantic trade will – and should – bring in 2022 and beyond. But I want to begin by highlighting some of our accomplishments over the last year and how we can build on these successes this year.
When President Biden took office, he pledged to rebuild our alliances with Europe and our partners around the world. One year into our Administration, and ten months since I was sworn in as United States Trade Representative, I believe we have made significant progress in fulfilling the President’s pledge, particularly with our European allies.
Last summer, we reached interim agreements with the EU and the UK to resolve the 17-year-long Boeing – Airbus disputes. 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 suspended its tariffs on American steel and aluminum, and its retaliatory tariffs on other American products.
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.
Then, in October, we further harnessed this momentum and reached 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, which will help end the race to the bottom over multinational corporate taxation.
Additionally, our Administration is grateful to have Ireland’s support for this agreement and we look forward to working with you to implement it in the coming months.
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.
However, even 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 we established the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council. The TTC is a forum for us to tackle important trade and technological issues that transcend borders, including the non-market, trade-distortive practices of certain countries that threaten U.S. and European competitiveness and technological leadership.
We held the inaugural meeting last fall in Pittsburgh, and I anticipate the TTC will meet again in Europe later this year. Going forward, the Biden-Harris Administration will use the TTC to further U.S.-EU cooperation on technology and innovation, advance our shared democratic values, and protect fundamental labor rights.
We have also renewed our Trilateral partnership with the EU and Japan to address the global challenges posed by non-market policies and practices of certain countries. In 2022, I am looking forward to continuing to renew our commitment to these Trilateral discussions.
In the EU, we have a partner that shares our democratic values and our commitment to developing concrete outcomes that benefit all of our citizens. Taken together, this work leaves me more optimistic than ever about the outlook for global trade and I am excited to see what we accomplish together in the new year.
With that, I will turn the program back to Ambassador Collins as we begin the question-and-answer session. Thank you.