The Strategist

Merkel: The EU expects a final decision on the US metal duties

03/23/2018 - 04:06

The EU is waiting for the final decision of the US administration on the issue of steel and aluminum customs duties. If they are introduced to products from the EU, retaliatory measures will follow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on the night of the first day of the EU summit.

World Economic Forum via flickr
World Economic Forum via flickr
"We cannot yet say what the decision will be," she said, "We believe that it was important to look for ways for dialogue, because, in our view, these fees are not justified."

"We must wait for the final decision of the US administration, if it comes to duties, then we will respond with countermeasures," Merkel said.

Import duties on steel and aluminum products in the amount of 25% and 10% respectively will begin to operate on Friday in the US. President Donald Trump announced this decision on March 8, indicating that it will enter into force in 15 days. Later, the US Department of Commerce clarified that this will happen on March 23.

On Thursday, the US trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, said that the US administration had decided not to impose customs duties on imported steel and aluminum products from a number of countries that are allies and partners of Washington, including from the EU.

In turn, the President of the United States Donald Trump considers the existing principles of trade between the European Union and the US dishonest and intends to change these rules. The US President said it on March 22.

"We started our negotiations with the European Union... They use protective tariffs. They can trade with us, but we cannot trade with them. They have effective barriers, they have very high tariffs, which we do not have. It's just not fair... We will try to change it or do something else," said Donald Trump.

The day before, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross agreed to hold consultations at the level of the White House administration to solve the problem that arose after Washington raised import duties on steel and aluminum of European production.

Donald Trump explained the introduction of these duties by the desire to revive the US steel and aluminum production.


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