New US steel and aluminium tariffs have now come into effect.  It means EU companies will face an extra 25% duty on steel and 10% duty on aluminium exports to the US.

In response, Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:

“We deeply regret that the US has made true on its threat to impose steel and aluminum tariffs starting today, 1 June.

“The decision goes against WTO rules and will have a negative impact in both the EU and US.

“Europe will of course have to defend its interests. We applaud the Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström’s decision to trigger a dispute settlement case at the WTO and to impose retaliatory duties on a number of imports from the US.

“The United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur’s claim that the move protects US national security is clearly bogus. The trade world that the Trump administration envisages is one in which every MAGA driven unilateral US measure would be deemed trade law unto everybody else. The obvious disregard for long-standing partnership built up among allies is, however, short-sighted and self-defeating.

“It is now imperative that the EU acts together to avoid any kind of back door deals that would undermine a strong, unified response. As Greens, this does not affect our ambition to change some of the priorities of the EU trade policy, notably in terms of transparency, climate, and social issues.

“Europe should also actively look for stronger cooperation with other parties concerned by unilateral US actions in defense of the multi-lateral global trade order such as Mexico, Canada, South Korea or Japan.”