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European Union to host US, Japan on steel as US tariffs loom

11 March, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem speaks during a media conference Wednesday at EU headquarters in Brussels. The European Union will set out its strategy on how to counter potential U.S. punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum

The EU has already threatened possible countermeasures to Trump's decision.

"We will work with EU partners to consider the scope for exemptions outlined today and continue to work with all the sectors involved in this decision to robustly support our industries", the government said a statement.The EU has threatened retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of U.S. imports items; from steel to peanut butter, bourbon and denim jeans - most of which are produced in states that Trump needs to win reelection.

She did not say what level of tariffs the European Union would set, leaving it unclear what the economic impact would be. Trump tweeted that he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying they are "discussing opening up Japan to much better trade with the U.S. now have a massive $100 Billion Trade Deficit".

The European Union's top trade official says that the bloc doubts U.S. President Donald Trump wants to slap heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports for national security reasons but is rather seeking economic gain.

Warning Trump's plans could lead to "a serious trade dispute" between Washington and the rest of the world, Tusk said European Union leaders would hold an emergency debate on the issue at a summit in Brussels on March 22-23.

With Japan a major trade partner and global investor, Suga said that, on the contrary, they contributed greatly to employment and industry in the United States.

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.




"We will stand firmly by the side of our companies and their workers and will now work closely with the European Commission to answer coolly and clearly" Trump's imposition of 10% tariffs on aluminium imports and 25% on steel, she added.

European steel and aluminium associations warn that U.S. tariffs could cost their sectors thousands of jobs. It represented $2.2 billion in USA exports to the EU. The EU also hopes "to convince the U.S. administration that this is the right move".

Germany's exports to the United States - its largest trading partner - outweighed imports by €50.5 billion (RM 242.3 billion) across 2017 and €3.5 billion in January this year, figures released by federal statistics authority Destatis showed today.

All this strengthens the risk of trade wars and their consequences - the last thing Europe needs.

Within minutes of Trump's announcement, U.S. Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a critic of the president, said he would introduce a bill to nullify the tariffs.

South Korea, the third largest steel exporter to the United States and a strategic ally on the Korean peninsula, called for calm.

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