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18 trade partners urge United States to reconsider tariffs

18 trade partners urge United States to reconsider tariffs

The meetings were previously planned, but took on greater importance because of Trump's announcement of a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum imports. The White House said the move will help the U.S. protect industries and jobs from unfair competition and that across-the-board tariffs are needed because countries like China use third countries for shipping steel to the USA, disguising its origin.

European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said a full-on transatlantic trade war was "not in anybody's interests".

Foreign steel producers are not only concerned about losing access to the US market but also that steel from other exporters will flood already saturated markets, threatening jobs elsewhere.

Malmstroem said that the European Union, the world's biggest trading bloc, rejects Trump's reasoning that the tariffs are backed by the worldwide legal right to protect national security.

Warning Trump's plans could lead to "a serious trade dispute" between Washington and the rest of the world, Tusk said European Union leaders would hold an emergency debate on the issue at a summit in Brussels on March 22-23.

The commission official said Saturday now offered "the big opportunity" to broach the issue "and to have a frank talk with Lighthizer about what's been going on on their side and to reiterate what the counter-measures from us would be".

Aluminium producers' association European Aluminium called for an "immediate" implementation of measures if necessary. The EU also hopes "to convince the United States administration that this is the right move".

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.

With Japan a major trade partner and worldwide investor, Suga said that, on the contrary, they contributed greatly to employment and industry in the United States.




China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate, citing imports from the United States ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics.

The EU itself already has tariffs on many imports.

In Sydney, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cited Washington's strong relationship with Australia, adding: "There is no case for imposing tariffs on Australian steel".

But the US has already thrown up barriers to Chinese imports.

All this strengthens the risk of trade wars and their consequences - the last thing Europe needs.

Argentina accounts for just 0.6 per cent of US steel imports and 2.3 percent of its aluminum imports.

"We call for calm-headed behavior", he told reporters in Brussels.

"At least in the near term, prospects for German industry have never looked rosier", economist Carsten Brzeski of ING Diba bank said after official data showed industrial production held steady in January.

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