European Union says talks 'the prime option' in USA tariffs row

European Union says talks 'the prime option' in USA tariffs row

European Union says talks 'the prime option' in USA tariffs row

The US president's plan would affect European Union steel exports, valued at €5.3 billion and aluminium exports worth €1.1 billion past year, and has opened the door to the prospect of an imminent transatlantic trade war. Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc.

European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said she's still in the dark about whether the bloc will be let off the hook from planned USA tariffs after "frank" but ultimately fruitless talks with her American counterpart in Brussels on Saturday.

Other officials at the EU, by far the biggest trading partner of the United States by value, have warned it could take counter-measures including European tariffs on U.S. oranges, tobacco and bourbon.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said after meetings in Brussels that she got "no immediate clarity on the exact USA procedure for exemption", and that new talks are planned next week.

Saturday's meetings in Brussels had been previously planned but took on greater importance because of Trump's announcement of a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

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

Japan, the United States' top economic and military ally in Asia, was next in line.

Brussels is also looking at "safeguard" measures to protect its industry - restricting the bloc's imports of steel and aluminum to stop foreign supplies flooding the European market, which is allowed under World Trade Organization rules.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that no one will win a "race to the bottom" and said the tariffs risked "hurting everyone".

Media captionUS tariffs: What do we need to know?

The dispute has fuelled 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. Shares in European steel makers fell, although Germany's two biggest producers, Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter, have insisted the impact on them will be limited.

Mr Seko called for calm-headed behaviour in the dispute.

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

Last year, China imported 3.2 million tonnes of USA coal, worth about $420 million and almost five times the amount it took in 2016.

"We have been very clear that (the USA decision) is not in compliance with the WTO", she said. "We should prevent a trade war situation from excessive protectionism, in which the entire world harms each other", trade minister Paik Un-gyu told a meeting with steelmakers.

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