Although producers are rejoicing, the price increases are painful for consumers of steel.

At its Plymouth, Mich., plant, Clips & Clamps Industries employs roughly 50 workers who stamp and form steel into components for cars such as the metal props that are used to keep the hood open when checking the oil.

“Last month, I can tell you, we lost money,” said Jeffrey Aznavorian, the manufacturer’s president. He attributed the loss, in part, to higher prices the company had to pay for steel. Mr. Aznavorian said he worried that his company would lose ground to foreign auto parts suppliers in Mexico and Canada who can buy cheaper steel and offer lower prices.

And it does not look like things are going to get easier for steel buyers any time soon. Wall Street analysts recently lifted forecasts for U.S. steel prices, citing the combination of industry consolidation and the durability, at least so far, of Trump-era tariffs under Mr. Biden. The two have helped create what analysts from Citibank called “the best backdrop for steel in a decade.”

Leon Topalian, the chief executive of Nucor, said the economy was showing an ability to absorb high steel prices, which reflect the high-demand nature of the recovery from the pandemic. “When Nucor is doing well, our customer segment is doing well,” Mr. Topalian said, “which means their customers are doing well.”

For their part, steel workers are enjoying a respite after being hit hard by the pandemic.

The city of Middletown in southwestern Ohio was spared the worst of the downturn, which saw 7,000 iron and steel production jobs disappear nationwide. Middletown Works — a sprawling Cleveland-Cliffs steel plant and one of the area’s most important employers — managed to avoid layoffs. But as demand has surged, activity and hours at the plant are picking up.

“We’re definitely running good,” said Neil Douglas, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1943, which represents more than 1,800 workers at Middletown Works. The plant, Mr. Douglas said, is having trouble finding the additional workers to hire for positions that could earn as much as $85,000 a year.

And the buzz at the plant is spilling over into the town. Mr. Douglas says he can’t walk into the home improvement center without running into someone from the mill who is embarking on a new project at home.

“You can definitely feel in the town that people are using their disposable income,” he said. “When we’re running good and we’re making money, people are going to spend it in town for sure.”

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U.S. and Europe to Begin Talks on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Many of the European tariffs targeted the constituencies of powerful Republicans. The duties on whiskey hit makers of bourbon in Kentucky, home of Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader. The planned increases would have raised the tariff on whiskey to 50 percent, forcing many small producers out of the European market, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, an industry group.

“Distillers across the United States are breathing a huge sigh of relief,” Chris Swonger, the council’s president, said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to resolve these longstanding trade disputes and reduce the economic pain felt by those industries unfairly caught in the middle.”

The association that represents U.S. steel makers was more restrained, emphasizing that the talks should focus on the problem of subsidies that encourage companies to produce more steel than the market can absorb, pushing down prices.

“While China is the single largest source of global steel oversupply, subsidies and other market distorting policies in many countries are contributing to the overcapacity crisis,” Kevin Dempsey, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a statement. “Injurious surges in imports have come from every region of the world.”

The announcement Monday was the most recent sign of gradual improvement in trade relations since Mr. Biden took office, and comes ahead of a planned visit by the president to Europe in June.

In March, the United States and the European Union temporarily suspended tariffs on billions of dollars of each others’ aircraft, wine, food and other products as they worked to settle a long-running dispute involving Boeing and Airbus, the two leading airplane manufacturers. The United States also temporarily suspended retaliatory tariffs against British products like Scotch whisky that had been imposed as part of the dispute over aircraft subsidies.

Trade officials will discuss how to address a global supply glut that poses “a serious threat to the market-oriented E.U. and U.S. steel and aluminum industries and the workers in those industries,” Katherine Tai, the U.S. trade representative; Gina M. Raimondo, the secretary of commerce; and Mr. Dombrovskis said in a joint statement Monday.

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Brexit Trade Deal Gets a Final OK From E.U. Parliament

BRUSSELS — The European Parliament has voted by a large margin, in results released Wednesday morning, to give the European Union’s final approval to a Brexit deal already beset by difficulties, complaints and a court challenge.

The vote was 660 in favor, with five against and 32 abstentions.

While the outcome was never really in doubt, the Parliament expressed considerable concerns about the trustworthiness of the current British government to carry out in good faith the two key documents of Brexit: the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which was just approved.

The latter agreement, which governs trade and customs issues and provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas, has been applied conditionally since the beginning of the year. It was finished on Christmas Eve and was ratified by the British Parliament on Dec. 30. But a negative vote by the European Parliament would have killed it, producing the “no deal Brexit” that neither side favored.

The European Parliament had delayed its vote to protest Britain’s handling of Northern Ireland and the protocol that governs trade on the divided island. Britain’s actions are the source of a legal complaint filed by the European Commission, the executive branch of the bloc, after Britain unilaterally extended grace periods for not conducting checks on goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain.

put it bluntly on Twitter. “We will vote in favor of the post-Brexit T.C.A.,” he wrote referring to the trade agreement. “But we are concerned about its implementation, because we do not trust Boris Johnson’s government.”

There were numerous worries expressed about Britain misusing or undermining the complicated arrangements on fishing rights as well as the Northern Ireland protocol.

David McAllister, a German legislator who is half Scottish, said some of the problems encountered so far were from teething issues, but some derived from “the kind of Brexit the U.K. has chosen for itself,” which will mean increasing divergence from the European Union single market. That by itself will require continuing discussion, he said, as well as working through areas left out of the Brexit deal, including financial services and foreign and security policies.

Brussels was committed to work on practical solutions between Northern Ireland, Ireland and mainland Britain, he said. “But the protocol is not the problem, it is the solution. The name of the problem is Brexit.”

Asking the Parliament to ratify the deal, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, promised that Brussels would use the dispute and enforcement mechanisms in the deal to ensure compliance by Britain. If Britain failed to honor its commitments, she said, she would not hesitate to impose punitive tariffs.

“The agreement comes with real teeth — with a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for unilateral remedial measures where necessary,” she said. “We do not want to have to use these tools. But we will not hesitate to use them if necessary.”

Britain voted to leave the European Union nearly five years ago, in a referendum in June 2016. The complications of Brexit, and the continuing struggles over its implementation, have served if nothing else to end talk in the rest of the European Union about making a similar exit.

Monika Pronczuk contributed reporting.

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How Brexit Ruined Easter for Britain’s Chocolate Makers

“We’d been told the product would arrive in France, so we put Calais as the point of entry. It went to Rotterdam, where it sat for six weeks,” he said. “Chocolate. Sitting in a warehouse. For six weeks.”

Through a shipping agent, he managed to get the import duty dropped. He learned a lesson about filling out forms, but that expertise won’t help him much.

“It’s impossible to find shippers that will deliver to Europe,” he said, “because there’s a backlog of goods in the pipeline.”

At Coco Caravan, a chocolate maker in the Cotswolds, the stasis has meant that Europe has gone from 15 percent of the company’s revenue to zero. That has caused Jacques Cop, the owner, to disappoint old customers and put off new ones. In recent months, prospective buyers in the Netherlands, France and Germany have expressed interest.

“They say, ‘We found you online and love everything you do in terms of being ethically sourced and vegan, but how are you going to combat the import-export problem we will have with the European Union?’” said Mr. Cop. “We can’t give them a clear answer, other than, ‘Yes, there will be additional costs involved.’”

Mr. Cop is also confronting a challenge common among small chocolate makers in Britain: importing raw ingredients from Europe. He stockpiled cacao in 2020 from his source of choice in Amsterdam. Now that it is time to buy more, obstacles have emerged. Transportation costs have doubled, which is bad enough. But Mr. Cop says his shipper refuses to take new orders because of worries that a shipment will somehow get blocked between Amsterdam and Britain.

“It’s to the point where I’m thinking of borrowing a Renault van and just driving to the Netherlands myself,” Mr. Cop said. “It’s a 10-hour drive each way. But I’m not sure I have another choice.”

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In Washington, ‘Free Trade’ Is No Longer Gospel

Like Ms. Tai and Mr. Lighthizer, many past presidents and trade officials emphasized fair trade and the idea of holding foreign countries accountable for breaking trade rules. But many also paid homage to the conventional wisdom that free trade itself was a worthy goal because it could help lift the economic fortunes of all countries and enhance global stability by linking economies.

That idea reached the height of its popularity under the presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, where the United States negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, led the talks that gave the World Trade Organization its modern format, granted China permanent normal trading relations, and sealed a series of trade agreements with countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

President Barack Obama initially put less emphasis on free trade deals, instead focusing on the financial crisis and the Affordable Care Act. But in his second term, his administration pushed to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which came under criticism from progressive Democrats for exposing American workers to foreign competition. The deal never won sufficient support in Congress.

For Democrats, the downfall of that deal was a turning point, propelling them toward their new consensus on trade. Some, like Dani Rodrik, a professor of political economy at Harvard, argue that recent trade deals have largely not been about cutting tariffs or trade barriers at all, and instead were focused on locking in advantages for pharmaceutical companies and international banks.

David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said economic theory had never claimed that trade made everybody better off — it had said trade would raise overall economic output, but lead to gains and losses for different groups.

But economists and politicians alike underestimated how jarring some of those losses could be. Mr. Autor’s influential research shows that expanded trade with China led to the loss of 2.4 million American jobs between 1999 and 2011. China’s growing dominance of a variety of global industries, often accomplished through hefty government subsidies, also weakened the argument that the United States could succeed through free markets alone.

Today, “people are much more sensitive to the idea that trade can have very, very disruptive effects,” Mr. Autor said. “There’s no amount of everyday low prices at Walmart that is going to make up for unemployment.”

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U.S. and Europe Will Suspend Tariffs on Alcohol, Food and Airplanes

The United States and European Union agreed to temporarily suspend tariffs levied on billions of dollars of each others’ aircraft, wine, food and other products as both sides try to find a negotiated settlement to a long-running dispute over the two leading airplane manufacturers.

President Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, agreed in a phone call on Friday to suspend all tariffs imposed in the dispute over subsidies given to Boeing and Airbus for “an initial period of four months,” Ms. von der Leyen said in a statement.

“This is excellent news for businesses and industries on both sides of the Atlantic and a very positive signal for our economic cooperation in the years to come,” she said.

In a statement, the White House said Mr. Biden had “underscored his support for the European Union and his commitment to repair and revitalize the U.S.-E.U. partnership.”

had authorized both the United States and Europe to impose tariffs on each other as part of two parallel disputes, which began almost two decades ago, over subsidies the governments have given to Airbus and Boeing. The E.U. had imposed tariffs on roughly $4 billion of American products, while the United States levied tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods.

The aircraft dispute is an early test of the Biden administration’s ability to rebuild America’s relationship with Europe, which U.S. officials see as crucial for accomplishing other trade and foreign policy goals.

Former President Donald J. Trump took a more adversarial and aggressive stance toward the bloc. He accused it of cheating the United States on trade and imposed tariffs on European metals, aircraft and other products. He also threatened further tariffs against European automakers.

The Biden administration has said it would restore ties with the E.U., formerly a close ally, as it seeks to form coalitions to take on bigger global problems, like China’s unfair trade practices. And it has committed to pressing Europe for a settlement on the aircraft dispute, as well as other continuing trade spats over metals, digital service taxes and other issues.

temporarily suspend tariffs levied against the United Kingdom, including on Scotch whisky, as part of the dispute for a period of four months.

Monika Pronczuk and Liz Alderman contributed reporting.

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