The United States just announced that Europe will be temporarily exempt from the previously announced steel and aluminium tariffs. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake welcomes the move but remains concerned about Trump’s unpredictable trade agenda.
Schaake: “Trump is known for using threats in an attempt to seal ‘a deal’, but Europe plays by different rules of the game. We should stick to trade based on rules and are willing to cooperate with the United States in order to tackle the real problem: China’s unfair trade practices.”
“It is a positive step that the proposed tariffs are temporarily off the table”, Schaake continues. “But the past two weeks have illustrated Trump is extremely volatile when it comes to taking decisions. Commissioner Malmstrom had to personally travel to Washington to convince the US administration that the EU, as a political, economic and military ally should be exempt from the tariffs.”
World trade organisation
President Trump wants to protect the American economy with ‘America First’ measures, while invoking ‘national security’ arguments. Schaake emphasises that even with a temporary exception, the EU should challenge this argumentation at the WTO.
Schaake: “Trump's measures come on top of previous steps that show a disregard for international trade rules. It is essential that Europe keeps working to strengthen multilateral rules to prevent the erosion of the international trading system as a whole."