World Bulletin / News Desk
Le Maire said that the U.S. should not see global trade like the Wild West or the "gunfight at the OK Corral."
"It’s not about who attacks whom, and then wait and see who is still standing at the end," Le Maire told reporters after his meeting with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Paris.
"If Donald Trump applies tariffs on steel and aluminum, Europe will draw all the consequences of this unjustified and unjustifiable decision," he said.
"I reminded... Secretary Wilbur Ross that we Europeans will respond in a united and firm way," Le Maire added, saying that a trade war would hurt growth everywhere, and called for abiding by international rules instead.
"The responsibility falls solely on to U.S. authorities; only they have to decide whether they want to enter a trade war with their closest partners," Le Maire said.
"Overcapacities are coming from China, not Europe."
"Our U.S. friends must know that if they were to take aggressive actions against Europe, Europe would not be without reaction," Le Maire warned.
In March, Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported iron and steel, and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, citing national security interests.
The U.S. is poised to impose the new tariffs on the European Union, and possibly on Canada and Mexico, on Friday when a temporary reprieve expires as trade talks remain at an impasse.
Ross told French daily Le Figaro that the announcement would come Thursday, likely after markets close.