EU treats US ‘very badly on trade’: Trump

Washington: Defending the new tariffs set on steel and aluminum imports by the country, President Donald Trump accused the European Union of treating the United States “very badly on trade” and threatened to tax cars and other products unless the EU “drop their horrific barriers” on U.S. imports.

“The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum. If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products going in, we will likewise drop ours. Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc. FAIR!”

The US President on Thursday signed a proclamation that sets the tariff on imports of steel at 25% and on aluminum at 10%, to be effected in 15 days.

However, he exempted allies, Canada and Mexico from the measure, and said the allies having “security relationship” with the US could propose exemptions, before the new tariffs come into force.

Following the announcement, the EU and Japanese officials in a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer at Brussels, pushed for the same exemption but did not reach a definite conclusion, the Washington Post reported.

“Day of meetings in Brussels with Minister @SekoHiroshige & @USTradeRep Lighthizer. I had a frank discussion with the US side about the serious pending issue of steel/aluminium tariffs. (1/2),” the Commissioner in charge of EU trade, Cecilia Malmstrom tweeted after the meeting, and added, “As a close security and trade partner of the US, the EU must be excluded from the announced measures. No immediate clarity on the exact US procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week. (2/2)”

The move has already garnered a lot of criticism from other world leaders as well as Trump’s party members. Over 100 Republican House members have signed a letter expressing concerns about the damage the tariffs may do to trade and the companies that use cheap steel and aluminum imports in the US.

Even as Trump claimed the revised tariff plans have been introduced to stop “assault on our country”, experts fear the latest move may spark a trade war. (ANI)