EU Seeks Clarity on Trump Tariffs

11 March, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • EU Seeks Clarity on Trump Tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump is after signing a proclamation to establish tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum at the White House in Washington on March 8, 2018.

In the event he exempted Canada and Mexico.

"Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don't have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia", Trump said.

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

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan's steel and aluminum shipments pose no threat to US national security.

The European Union, the world's biggest trade bloc, chimed in.

"It's extremely regrettable and I'd like to work on the Americans to exempt us", Hiroshige Seko, Japan's minister of trade and industry, told a press conference.

"Dialogue is always the prime option of the European Union", Ms Malmstroem told reporters yesterday, saying Brussels was "counting on being excluded" from the new duties.

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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.

Malmstrom won support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The EU exports around five billion euros' ($4 billion) worth of steel and a billion euros' worth of aluminum to the USA each year, and the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, estimates Trump's tariffs could cost some 2.8 billion euros.

Now, the bloc's Commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, has confirmed they want to drag the United Kingdom into their war of words and trade, rather than allow the United Kingdom to build on its relationship with the U.S.as it regains sovereignty.

"The loss of exports to the US, combined with an expected massive import surge in the European Union, could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the European Union steel industry and related sectors", said Axel Eggert, head of steel association.

Trump has long railed against what he deems unfair trade practices by China and others, and last week declared that he would levy penalties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports. Tariffs would "seriously impact the normal order of global trade", the Commerce Ministry said. Trump has championed coal exports as demand from power firms at home weakens. She also stated that the justification given by the USA was highly unjust.

South Korea, the third-largest steel exporter to the USA, is also considering joining an action at the WTO.

While carrying a message to Washington to push forward a diplomatic breakthrough over North Korea, South Korea's national security office chief, Chung Eui-yong, requested USA officials to support Seoul's request for a waiver, a presidential spokesperson said.

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