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Tariffs on steel and aluminium: Europe must be ready to respond to US protectionism

ALDE Press Release

Members of the European Parliament today debated President Donald Trump’s announcement to impose heavy, global tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium. Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament strongly stress the need to avoid a trade war but also the necessity to be ready to respond to this wave of protectionism coming from the US.  

Marietje Schaake, the ALDE group's spokesperson on trade, said today:  

"Commissioner Malmström is doing everything within her powers to prevent a trade war with the United States. At the same time, faced with a volatile Trump in the White House, Europe has to be prepared for any scenario. If Trump pushes through his reckless intentions, we cannot hesitate and must immediately take WTO-compatible countermeasures."  

Trump announced last week that Canada, Mexico and Australia will be excluded from the measures. He gave Europe fifteen days to try to negotiate a similar exemption.  

Schaake: "The procedure through which an exception can be negotiated and with whom remains shrouded in ambiguity. Yet the clock is ticking. This not only puts geopolitical relations under pressure, but has also plunged companies and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic into great insecurity. Every day that passes by only adds to the chaos. This is painstakingly frustrating. The United States and Europe should join forces to counter Chinese dumping and overcapacity, rather than fight each other.“