European Union count on exclusion from U.S. metal tariffs

European Union count on exclusion from U.S. metal tariffs

Trump has also given Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross the power to provide relief to specific steel and aluminum products that aren't produced in the U.S.

The White House signalled Wednesday it would water down plans for the contentious tariffs by exempting Mexico, Canada "and possibly other countries as well", in the face of jitters on world markets. "We have some friends and some enemies where we have been tremendously taken advantage of over the years on trade and on military", he said.

"We are an ally, not a threat", European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said. Th U.S. justified these tariffs by citing national security!

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

"We will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures, safeguard", she added when asked if she would consider taking the dispute to the global trade regulator.

Asked at the conference whether she was ready to react if the 28-country European Union was included in the USA tariffs, Malmstrom said she stood ready to go to the WTO, the worldwide trade arbiter, to impose the bloc's own safeguards within 90 days.

"Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security so we expect to be excluded", European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged dialogue and warned that "no one can win in such a race to the bottom".

House Speaker Ryan criticizes Trump tariff plan
Ryan told Home Depot Inc . employees how they and their company will be helped by the tax cuts passed past year . But the issue of tariffs has sparked the Wisconsin Republican's strongest criticism of the president's policies.

The EU exports around €5bn worth of steel and €1bn worth of aluminium to the USA each year, and the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, estimates Mr Trump's tariffs could cost some €2.8bn.

Earlier, the EU's trade commissioner confirmed that the EU's counter-measures would include tariffs on USA steel and agricultural products, as well as other products like bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

"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.

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen since Trump took office past year. The tariffs would "seriously impact the normal order of global trade", the Ministry of Commerce said.

The dispute has fueled concerns that soybeans, the United States' most valuable export to China, might be caught up in the row after Beijing launched an inquiry into imports of USA sorghum, a grain used in animal feed and liquor.

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

South Korea´s national security office chief Chung Eui-yong asked US officials to support Seoul´s request for a waiver, a presidential spokesman said.

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