Sunday, 21 October, 2018


European Union 'reserves right' for counter-measures in Trump trade…

Bennie Garza | 24 March, 2018, 13:37

US President Donald Trump said "real friends" could apply for an exemption when he announced his intention to put tariffs 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium two weeks ago.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a Senate panel that Trump authorized a "pause" in the tariffs while talks are underway to find a more permanent solution.

South Korea was excluded from the tariffs, along with the European Union, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada and Mexico.

Tariffs on imported steel and aluminum imposed by the United States comes into force starting March 23, the White House said in a statement on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron has lashed out at Donald Trump for giving the European Union a 40-day exemption from United States metal import duties, describing it as like putting a "gun to our head".

Attending the talks, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said he would "await the official response and if it comes that would be good news".

"I am pleased that they have announced a temporary exemption for the EU".

The EU's confidence was comforted still further after Trump threatened a new wave of measures on Wednesday, this time singling out China for what he called the theft of United States intellectual property.

Cecilia Malmström said protectionism was being "used as a weapon to threaten and intimidate us".

The news came after two days of intensive talks between the U.S. and EU.

The climbdown came as Trump announced new sanctions against China for what he called the theft of USA intellectual property - which Beijing has vowed to meet with tit-for-tat retaliation.

Trump authorized an exemption for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and all 28 EU member countries while the US negotiates long-term plans with foreign leaders from each country and the European body.

"We remain absolutely committed to doing all we can to support our steel industry and to promoting global trade, which is vital to ensuring the prosperity of Welsh people and communities".

The commission however has drawn up a list of potential counter-measures, including tariffs on peanut butter and Harley Davidson motorcycles, in case Trump follows through. But if the countries granted exemptions are removed from that total - including Canada and Mexico, whose exemptions had already been announced - then less than a third of United States steel imports would be subject to tariffs.

"We both know what the problem is", Altmaier said, pointing the finger instead at China.

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