President Donald Trump‘s approach to steel overcapacity is wrong, the European Union’s (EU) trade chief said Friday, hoping that the U.S. will reconsider its decision to raise costs for steel and aluminium producers.
Trump fueled concerns of a potential trade war on Thursday, when signingtwo proclamations that will lead to tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs. The EU, which has presented counter-measures to respond to Trump’s tariffs, is hoping that the U.S. will remove the group of 28 nations from the list.
Speaking at a panel discussion in Brussels, Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s trade commissioner, criticized Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium products.
“We had been in talks with our American friends for quite some time to explain to them that whereas we share the concerns over overcapacity in the steel sector, this is not the right way to deal with it,” Malmstrom said.
“And it is certainly not the right way to include Europe in that because we are friends, we are allies, we work together, we cannot possibly be a threat to national security in the U.S. so we are counting on being excluded,” the Swedish politician said.
On Wednesday, the European Commission announced it will raise import duties on U.S. bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice if President Donald Trump would move ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminum.
The EU also said at the time that it would take the case to the World Trade Organization and coordinate with other trade partners against the proposed U.S. tariffs.
Trump backed his decision to impose tariffs on the basis of internal or national security, which the EU has dubbed as “deeply unjust.”
“We cannot see how the European Union’s friends and allies in NATO can be a threat to national security in the U.S. We find that assumption deeply unjust,” Malmstrom told the press on Wednesday.