March 24, 2018

EU, Japan seek to be excluded from United States tariffs in talks

11 March 2018, 01:34 | Kara Nash

EU, Japan seek to be excluded from United States tariffs in talks

Are The President's Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Good for America?

A Eurofer spokesman also warned that the US's punitive tariffs not only make market access more hard for European steel but could flood Europe with imports from other nations unable to get into the United States market, pushing prices down and endangering EU jobs.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of USA products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs.

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

Warning Trump's plans could lead to "a serious trade dispute" between Washington and the rest of the world, Tusk said European Union leaders would hold an emergency debate on the issue at a summit in Brussels on 22 and 23 March.

The officials said all European Union countries, including Britain which is leaving the European Union, were behind the Commission, which handles trade issues for the 28 governments.

Brussels has already drawn up a hitlist of flagship American products to target for countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs including peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and orange juice.

Trump said the tariffs, which will come into effect after 15 days, will not initially apply to Canada and Mexico.

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The list, obtained by AFP, includes "men's' or boys' pants and breeches of cotton denim" and "motorcycles including mopeds" with engines of 500 cc capacity and above - which includes most Harley Davidson models.

"This is not a trade negotiation", he said. Under World Trade Organization rules, such counter-measures have to be in place within 90 days of the USA tariffs entering force.

The European steel association Eurofer in Brussels today warned the US President's new import tariffs were "harmful and counterproductive" and could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Europe. "We're going to have sensible relations with our allies".

Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium. "It could disrupt the steel and aluminium markets of the world and have a negative impact", Mr Seko told reporters after his meeting with US Trade Representative Lighthizer in which he sought an exemption for Japanese producers.

Katainen said Brussels wanted "clarity" on how the tariffs will be implemented and was ready to enforce retaliatory measures to protect European interests if needed.

The EU exported about 5.5 million tons of steel to the US past year.

Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen warned Washington on Friday not to expect any concessions to win an exemption.

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