European Union executive to seek talks with United States over metals tariffs - Katainen

Michele Moreno
March 11, 2018

Brussels has warned it could tax imports of politically sensitive American products like orange juice or motorcycles in response to Trump's tariffs.

"No immediate clarity on the exact USA procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week". "We will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures, safeguards". Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said it was "past time to defend our interests, our security and our workers in the global economy".

Brazil, which after Canada is the biggest steel supplier to the USA market, said it wanted to join the list.

The EU's top trade official said Friday that "dialogue" with Washington was the bloc's "prime option" as it seeks to win exemptions from US President Donald Trump's controversial new steel and aluminium tariffs.

The European Union is hoping it will be granted an exemption from US import tariffs and believes that an exemption for one EU country would apply to the bloc as a whole, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said on Thursday.

"We call for calm-headed behaviour", Seko said.

Trump insisted in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron - a leading European Union player staunchly opposed to the tariffs - that the "decision is necessary and appropriate to protect national security".

The DIHK trade group, BDA employers association, BDI industry group and German Confederation of Skilled Crafts said: "German industry is extremely concerned about the decisionof the USA government to imposed far-reaching punitive tariffs".

A collapse in steel prices has hit Western countries including the U.S., Italy, and Belgium, which has led to job losses in the industry, CNBC reported.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo has expressed concerns about a trade war and appealed for cool heads to prevail.

Both Katainen and Malmström said that the root cause of the problem in the steel and aluminium sector is global overcapacity.

The EU itself already has tariffs on many imports.

China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate, citing imports from the United States ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics.

But the US has already thrown up barriers to Chinese imports.

At that time, the European Union compiled a list of items for retaliatory tariffs that included steel products, but also orange juice, apples, sunglasses, knitwear, motor boats and photocopying machines. The U.S. bought 5 per cent of Japan's steel previous year but just 1.1 per cent of China's steel.

Trump, elected on a promise to roll back the effects of globalisation on the United States economy with an "America First" platform, said Thursday he planned to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium.

Other reports by Insurance News

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