As Donald Trump sets import tariffs on steel, Germany says trade war between Europe, US can still be averted

Berlin: A trade war between Europe and the United States can still be averted, German economy minister Brigitte Zypries said on Saturday, adding she hoped that talks in Brussels this weekend could help to prevent an escalation.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters.

US president Donald Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum but is under heavy pressure from allies including the European Union and Japan to dilute the measures.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer was due to meet EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom and separately with Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko on Saturday for long-planned talks that have taken on added urgency amid concerns that Trump’s move could provoke a global trade war.

Zypries told Deutschlandfunk radio that so far no tariffs had been imposed and it was too early to talk about a looming trade war. “But we’ve reached a situation in which the preliminary skirmishes have become serious,” she added.

Zypries said the EU’s Malmstrom was trying to solve the dispute through negotiations, adding: “There are still talks going on, things are in flux, so if you want you could say it’s still about diplomacy and not war.”

The minister said Trump’s proposed tariffs would violate the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and that Germany would coordinate closely with the European Commission on how to react if Trump pushed ahead.

“Of course, we would have to take proceedings against him at the WTO,” Zypries said. “And in addition, we will have to think about counter-measures.”

Updated Date: Mar 10, 2018 16:46 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See