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When President Joe Biden meets with European leaders next week, he will commit to dropping tariffs protecting U.S. steel and aluminum and resolving other trade disputes this summer, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

The Trump administration put in place tariffs on steel and aluminum that it said were necessary to prevent the U.S. from becoming dependent on foreign metals, a situation that an extensive government review said would be a threat to national security. China’s share of global crude steel production increased from 53.3 percent in 2019 to 56.5 percent in 2020. Although the U.S. imports little to no steel from China directly, China’s overproduction depresses prices in the global market.

Part of the concern over becoming import metals dependent is that other countries could attempt to use their steel and aluminum production to constrain U.S. policy. Even a close ally such as France or Canada could attempt to use our oil dependence to influence U.S. policy on climate change or threaten to cut off supply seen as supporting the U.S. in a military conflict those countries oppose. Read more…