On the eve of the summit between the European Union and the United States, the US Treasury Secretary stated that the option of “decoupling from China” is not on the table “for either the United States or the European Union.” However, he stressed that an agreement to impose a tax on steel and aluminum imports from countries such as China “is being worked on and discussed.”
After leaving a meeting with Eurogroup President Janet Yellen said what was being done were “approaches focused on diversification or risk reduction” and that the two powers “have a lot to gain from cooperation in this area.”
On the European side, Paschal Donohoe highlighted that EU countries recognize “the importance of the various sectors of the Chinese economy”, which are taken into account in order to ensure that cooperation is implemented “in a fair manner.” The goal, he says, is “to understand the different possible ways to reduce the risks of such an important trade.”
In response to a question about Washington and Brussels’ desire to work together to create a new joint trade area to tax steel and aluminum imports from several countries, including China, Janet Yellen referred the news to the EU-US summit scheduled for the next day on October 20. However, he stressed that this is “something that is being worked on and discussed.”
It must be remembered that in addition to the multiple trade sanctions imposed by the United States on China, Europe’s relationship with the Chinese also worsened after the announcement made by Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union address. The President of the European Commission announced that an investigation would be opened into Chinese support for the electric car industry. A measure seen as a threat to European manufacturers.
Supporting Ukraine will require “increased economic efforts”
Ukraine was also one of the main topics discussed between European and North American representatives. Donohoe said that “the close relationship between the European Union and the United States is more important than ever” because of the need to ensure “freedom, democracy and respect for human rights.” But to achieve this, he adds, “we need to intensify our efforts so that our economic and financial policies become more coordinated and have greater impact.”
The US Treasury Secretary stressed the importance of strengthening support for Ukraine and congratulated the European Union on the efforts it has made so far to rebuild the country.
Yellen stressed, “Given recent developments in the European Union, we particularly commend the commitment to create a multi-year facility worth 50 billion euros for Ukraine. This facility will cover part of Ukraine’s urgent financing needs and will enable continued support for reconstruction.”
Regarding Russia, the US Treasury Secretary explained that potential strategies were discussed “to undermine the Russians’ ability to financially support their war.” In addition to sanctions and restrictions on Russian oil prices, efforts are being made to “combat sanctions evasion and increase pressure on the Kremlin.”
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