18 trade partners urge USA to reconsider tariffs

18 trade partners urge USA to reconsider tariffs

"We need a dialogue with the United States".

The EU has warned that it stands ready to slap "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of USA steel, agricultural and other products, like peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

"We will stand firmly by the side of our companies and their workers and will now work closely with the European Commission to answer coolly and clearly" Trump's imposition of 10% tariffs on aluminium imports and 25% on steel, she added.

The list is being finalized but so far includes USA steel and agricultural products, as well as other products such as bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

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

Even though China accounts for only a small fraction of USA steel imports, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the US president is being unwise in launching a trade war.

European industry associations called on Malmstrom to react to the tariffs.

A trade official says 18 members of the World Trade Organization have expressed concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, with most urging the United States to reconsider.

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Japan's government has warned the measure could hurt its economic relations with the U.S. But ahead of Saturday's talks, Seko also cautioned that "falling to exchanges of unilateral measures will not be in the interest of any country", according to the Kyodo news agency.

"It could disrupt the steel and aluminium markets of the world and have a negative impact", Seko told reporters after his meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer in which he sought an exemption for Japanese producers.

Both Katainen and Malmström said that the root cause of the problem in the steel and aluminium sector is global overcapacity. The U.S. bought 5 per cent of Japan's steel a year ago but just 1.1 per cent of China's steel.

Within minutes of Trump's announcement, U.S. Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a critic of the president, said he would introduce a bill to nullify the tariffs.

Some Democrats praised the move.

The EU executive said it remained unclear how an exclusion would work.

By contrast, Holger Bingmann of exporters' association BGA warned that "the European Union may now take steps we wouldn't want. we call urgently for level-headedness". "It's been planned for several weeks", a Commission official said on Thursday.

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