World Bulletin / News Desk
US steel and aluminum tariffs are already distorting global trade and could undermine the world economic recovery, the EU's top trade official Cecilia Malmstroem warned Wednesday.
"We are seeing a recovery and a potential growth in trade and global growth but it is threatened by these tariffs," Malmstroem told a press conference in the French city of Strasbourg.
"We can see already tendencies of distortion of trade that affects the EU as well," the Swedish commissioner said.
US President Donald Trump sparked fears of a trade war in March when he decided to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, primarily to target China, but also EU countries.
But Trump granted Europe a last-minute exemption, giving EU negotiators until May 1 to come up with a solution to unfair trade policies alleged by the US leader.
"We expect to be permanently and unconditionally excluded from these measures," Malmstroem said as the commission launched the approval process for trade deals it has struck with Japan and Singapore.
Malmstroem said the EU had received no guarantee yet from the Trump administration it will be excluded.
But she insisted the bloc would not discuss US trade issues "under pressure, under threat," adding the tariffs were in breach of WTO rules.Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2018, 17:31