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No Deal for EU Seeking Exemptions From Trump's Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

11 March, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Does Trump start trade war with EU

The EU's top trade official Cecilia Malmstroem and Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko began preliminary talks in Brussels ahead of the sitdown with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The EU exports around five billion euros' ($4 billion) worth of steel and a billion euros' worth of aluminium to the United States each year, and the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, estimates Trump's tariffs could cost some 2.8 billion euros. Seko said he believed there was still time for Japan to secure an exemption.

Canada and Mexico will be exempt from the tariffs initially, and Australia is optimistic that it too will gain exemption.

Trump's announcement of duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminium has stung the European Union and triggered warnings of an all-out worldwide trade war.

Trade representatives for Japan and the European Union met with the US trade representative Saturday in an effort to avoid a trade war over President Donald Trump's new tariffs on aluminum and steel.

"It's clear. We need clarity", European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said on Friday.

After the meeting, Malmstrom tweeted, "No immediate clarity on the exact US procedure for exemption.so discussions will continue next week".




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

In talks, the United States should not expect any European Union concessions to win an exemption, European Union officials said.

"As a close security and trade partner of the U.S., the European Union must be excluded from the announced measures", Malmstroem said on Twitter after the meeting.

"This is not a trade negotiation", Katainen said.

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.

The European Steel Association condemned Trump's decision, warning that it "could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the EU steel industry and related sectors". Under World Trade Organization rules, such counter-measures have to be in place within 90 days of the US tariffs entering force.

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