The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today strongly condemned President Donald Trump’s announcement to impose heavy tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, including from the EU.

S&D Group spokesperson for trade, Alessia Mosca, said:

“We strongly regret the decision of Trump’s administration. After the blockage imposed to the WTO, this announcement is another step towards a trade war triggered by the US. These blind protectionist measures do not harness globalisation, on the contrary they will exacerbate its negative effects.

“We call on the Commission to begin formal consultations at the WTO at the earliest opportunity. Everyone, the US included, needs to play by the rules.

“The Chinese overcapacity in the steel industry needs to be tackled in an inclusive way. The only way to do it is through the WTO in close co-operation with your closest allies. We call on the Commission to monitor the market’s fluctuations and its effects on European industry in order to prevent any disruption through the development of social funds. We owe our workers a strong defence, as they are already under attack from unfair competition.”

S&D Group spokesperson for EU-USA trade relationships and chair of the European parliament’s trade committee, Bernd Lange, added:

“Reckless protectionism and nationalism will only isolate and hurt the US. The EU will respond swiftly and adequately and make clear that it does not pay to blindly lash out at one’s allies.”