France’s economy and finance minister has warned that the European Union will take a unified response to any US tariffs on its steel and aluminium exports.
In an interview with CNBC, Bruno Le Maire said: “I think the first is to have a common response from the member states from the European Union.” But then, if other countries want to take part in the EU response, “of course, we are kind of open to these discussions.”
He called for “European forces to think about common concern, a common response, and to deliver a response if necessary.”
As reported by CNBC, Le Maire’s comments come after US President Donald Trump announced last week a proposal to raise import taxes to 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium. The tariffs could particularly hurt car exporters and construction firms in countries around the world that are on the tariffs list.
Trump said he believes the tariffs will help deal with overcapacity in the steel industry and China’s practice of “dumping” excess steel onto other countries. The EU sees the move as protectionist, limiting free trade and, along with other nations including China, has said the move is tantamount to a “trade war.”
On March 12, Trump tweeted that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will be “speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the USA.”