EU, Japan start push for exemptions from Trump tariffs

12 March, 2018, 05:04 | Author: Julio Duncan
  • Trump Nieto

President Donald Trump said Saturday he would spare the European Union his steel and aluminum tariffs if the bloc halts its own trade barriers to USA products, in his latest round of economic hardball.

Mr Eggert then demanded European Union instate protective measures for the industry, adding: "We cannot stand by and watch the United States light a match under the global trading system".

US President Donald Trump last week announced that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on all imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

He said other countries could be spared if they can convince the administration that their steel and aluminum exports don't threaten American industry.

The EU's trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels on Saturday but the EU executive said the talks would not solve all the problems. The EU wants to find out exactly what mandate he has and precisely what conditions allow exemptions, but it is ruling out any negotiations for USA market access.

"If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on USA products going in, we will likewise drop ours".

"But if you want move forward with the agenda for American companies you have to be willing to take certain risks", he said. She noted that under WTO rules, once Trump's tariffs come into force in two weeks, the European Union would have 90 days to enact the measures. The stiff tariffs will take effect 15 days from March 8 (U.S. time).


The EU is arguing that it has a long-standing security alliance with the United States and is co-operating to address the issue of overcapacity in the steel sector.

Japan, the US's top economic and military ally in Asia, was next in line.

Zhong said at a briefing during a meeting of China's ceremonial legislature that the US has been overstating its trade deficit with China by about 20 percent every year.

The European steel association Eurofer in Brussels today warned the US President's new import tariffs were "harmful and counterproductive" and could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Europe.

EUROFER chief Axel Eggert said "the national security justification the president has used - and the linking of these tariffs to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation funding - is an absurdity". Shares in European steel makers fell, although Germany's two biggest producers, Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter, have insisted the impact on them will be limited.

Major US trading partners have condemned Trump's decision to impose the punitive tariffs as protectionism and an affront to allies, amid growing fears of a global trade war.

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