EU tells Trump to stop tar­iffs threat

US MOVE ‘BREAKS TRADE RULES’

Manchester Evening News - - WORLD -

THE Euro­pean Union has called on US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion to stop threat­en­ing it with tar­iffs on steel and alu­minium, say­ing it is pre­pared to dis­cuss trade – but not at gun­point.

In March, Mr Trump slapped tar­iffs of 25% on steel im­ports and 10% on im­ported alu­minium, but granted the 28 EU coun­tries a tem­po­rary ex­emp­tion until June 1.

He also tem­po­rar­ily ex­empted big steel pro­duc­ers Canada and Mex­ico, pro­vided they agree to rene­go­ti­ate a North Amer­i­can trade deal to his sat­is­fac­tion.

“It’s Europe’s eco­nomic sovereignty, and what we are de­mand­ing is that we are ex­empted with­out con­di­tions or time lim­its,” said French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron in Bul­garia, where EU lead­ers, in­clud­ing Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, have gath­ered for a sum­mit with Balkans coun­tries.

Con­vinced that the move breaks global trade rules, the EU has drawn up a list of “re­bal­anc­ing” du­ties worth 2.8 bil­lion eu­ros to im­pose on US prod­ucts if it is not per­ma­nently ex­empt. It has vowed not to ne­go­ti­ate un­der threat.

“I don’t think we have to con­sider this or that, when it con­tra­venes the laws of in­ter­na­tional trade,” Mr Macron said.

But he added: “We can im­prove things, in a peace­ful set­ting.”

The EU re­jects Mr Trump’s as­ser­tion the tar­iffs are needed for US na­tional se­cu­rity and sees them as pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures.

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