Monday, 25 June, 2018

Germany backs European Union decision to respond to U.S. steel tariffs-spokesman

EU to respond within 90 days if not exempt EU says talks 'the prime option' in US tariffs row
Herman Weaver | 11 March, 2018, 04:43

The American president made his comments after crunch talks in Brussels between European Union negotiators and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in an effort to defuse a bitter row that many fear could turn into an all-out trade war.

The EU's trade commissioner says there is "no immediate clarity" from the United States on how the bloc can gain exemption from new tariffs on imported steel and aluminium imposed by President Trump.

There was still "no immediate clarity on the exact US procedure on exemption", Malmstrom, the 28-nation bloc's trade commissioner, said after the meeting that also included Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko.

"We express regret over the USA government's decision to impose tariffs on imported steel even though the Korean government has pointed out the problems of this action through various channels", Paik said in a meeting with senior officials from Korean steelmakers. Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc.

Brussels has already drawn up a hitlist of flagship American products to target for countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs including peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and orange juice.

Trump imposed the tariffs - 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium - despite repeated warnings from the European Union and other allies that this could trigger a full-on trade war.

"We are an ally, not a threat", Katainen said.

The administration clarified this week that Canada, where the USA gets most of its steel, would be exempt, as would Mexico.

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The EU executive said it remained unclear how an exclusion would work.

Germany - singled out for particular criticism by Trump - accused Washington of protectionism, calling the tariffs an "affront to close partners".

Trump imposed the tariffs despite pleas from friends and allies who warned the new measure could ignite a trade war.

With the new tariffs set to take effect in 15 days, Trump left room for exemptions for other countries, saying, "I'll have a right to drop out countries or add countries".

The EU is also maintaining a threat of counter-measures that would target USA imports ranging from maize to motorcycles, and may publish its list next week to allow industry and other interested parties to give their input.

This shed light on Trump's attacks against Germany - the biggest economy in the European Union - that have accused Berlin of contributing much less than the U.S. toward the funding of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

European steel and aluminium associations have warned that the US tariffs could cost their sectors thousands of jobs.

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