European Union lawmakers approved an increase in US beef imports to the EU on Thursday, a move likely to ease transatlantic tensions.

But they also criticized tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump on metal imports and a threat he has made to target EU cars and car parts.

The European Parliament voted by 457-140, with 71 abstentions, in favor of a plan to allow US farmers a larger share of an existing 45 000 tonne quota from 2020.

The vote came with a resolution urging the removal of US tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, and the withdrawal of Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on EU cars.

The agreement on beef is designed to settle a dispute that dates back to 1981 when the EU banned the use of growth hormones in meat across the 28-nation bloc, including in imports.

The EU and the United States eventually concluded an agreement in 2009 to grant a quota for hormone-free beef imports, which currently stands at 45 000 tonnes.

However, under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, the quota also had to be made available to non-US suppliers.

Exporters from Australia and Uruguay, and more recently Argentina, decided to sell into the quota, pushing the US share from nearly 100% to 30%.