'Protectionist' Trump tariffs 'offend' Germany

EU warns Trump on trade war, eyes peanut butter and whiskey tariffs

Zypries said in a statement she hopes Trump will change his mind regarding slapping tariffs on steel imports.

Trump's tariffs appear far more likely to hurt a staunch ally, Canada, which is No. 1 in both supplies of steel and aluminum to the U.S. "From what we understand, the motivation of the U.S.is an economic safeguard measure in disguise, not a national security measure".

European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said a full-on transatlantic trade war was "not in anybody's interests". Trump tweeted that he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying they are "discussing opening up Japan to much better trade with the U.S. now have a massive $100 Billion Trade Deficit".

"This is protectionism which offends close partners like the European Union and Germany and which limits free trade", Brigitte Zypries said in a statement.

The European Union should be excluded from President Donald Trump's tariff plans, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Friday. "There are some countries in the world that do not necessarily respect the World Trade Organisation agreements, and which impose technology transfers".

EU President Donald Tusk yesterday warned Trump that "trade wars are bad and easy to lose", directly rebuffing the United States leader's claim last week they were "good and easy to win".

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Aluminium producers' association European Aluminium called for an "immediate" implementation of measures if necessary.

A collapse in steel prices has hit Western countries including the U.S., Italy, and Belgium, which has led to job losses in the industry, CNBC reported.

The meeting, originally scheduled to address China's oversupply of steel, was also attended by Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko. "We must also avoid actions on our part in this regard", added Dombrovskis.

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. As a result, China ranks only 11th in steel and fourth in aluminum imports to the United States.

In Sydney, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cited Washington's strong relationship with Australia, adding: "There is no case for imposing tariffs on Australian steel". China accounts for only a small fraction of USA steel imports, but its rapid rise to produce half the world's steel has helped create a global glut that has driven down prices. The Commission said that this would be unlikely as the decision under the trade enforcement regulation would be subject to qualified majority voting.

Mr Seko called for calm-headed behaviour in the dispute.

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