US May Introduce EU Steel Fees As May 31

The Trump administration may announce new tariffs for the European Union on May 31, The Wall Street Journal reported. The talks between Brussels and Washington were unsuccessful. US Presidential Administration Donald Trump may introduce duties on the import of steel and aluminum products from the European Union on May 31. This was reported on Wednesday, May 30, the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal, citing informed sources.

According to her, Washington’s corresponding decision was connected with Brussels’s unwillingness to make concessions to the United States.

Companies from the EU were twice granted a deferment of duties, the last time until June 1. The repeated attempts of Europeans to achieve the abolition of duties on an ongoing basis were unsuccessful. In response, the EU intends to introduce 25 percent duties on American goods from June 20, including orange juice, whiskey, tobacco and motorbikes.

European negotiators said the United States that they were ready for dialogue, but did not “intend to negotiate in the face of threats.” Sigrid Kag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Cooperation Development, on behalf of the European Union, also stressed that the European community has the right to “indefinite expulsion” from the countries subject to tariffs.

Earlier, Washington refused to sign a joint statement by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries prepared at a meeting of economic ministers in Paris. The United States opposed a document condemning protectionism and recalling the challenges of climate change.

German industry supports EU in trade dispute with USA

The conclusion of a European Union customs agreement with the United States alone is not enough, the head of the German Federal Industry Association is convinced. Europe should not allow Washington to “blackmail itself” in the context of trade wars with the United States. Confidence in this, the head of the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) Dieter Kempf (Dieter Kempf) expressed on Sunday, May 27, in Berlin. His statement was made in anticipation of the entry into force of US customs duties on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

“It will be absolutely correct if the European Union on a long-term basis will continue to be excluded from the list of countries that are imposed restrictions on the import of steel and aluminum,” Kempf emphasized.

Only if this condition is met, will Brussels be able to proceed with detailed trade negotiations with the United States, he added. According to Kempf, “from the point of view of the German industry, concluding a customs agreement with the United States alone is not enough.” It should be about the mutual opening of markets and the removal of trade barriers.

U.S. President Donald Trump previously set tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, but he granted EU producers an exemption from tariffs until June 1. EU proposals to open their markets for goods from the United States, including cars, apparently did not convince Washington to refuse customs duties, in turn, said EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström.

Six G7 countries criticized US for duties on steel and aluminum

Six G7 countries made it clear to the United States that they were ready to respond to the duties imposed, but “prefer a different path,” the French Finance Minister said. Because of the introduction of duties on steel and aluminum, the US was virtually isolated among its G7 partners “. At a meeting held in Canadian Whistler from May 31 to June 2, finance ministers and central bank governors of the six G7 countries unanimously expressed “concern and disappointment” to their Washington colleagues about fees, Canadian Finance Minister William Francis Morneau said after talks.

The disagreement over US actions is indicated by the fact that the meeting participants did not publish a joint final declaration, as is usually done at events in the G7 format, AFP news agency notes. According to him, the US partners in the G-7 during the meeting did not see Washington’s readiness to change course.

German Finance Minister accuses US of violating rules

The fees imposed by the United States “do not comply with the rules in force throughout the world,” said German Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “The fact that the US has ceased to adhere to these rules is surprising and depressing,” Scholz said, stressing that such strong disagreements are unusual for the G7.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mayor, in turn, called the meeting the talks between the United States and the “Big Six” countries, which made Washington understand that “they are ready to respond (to duties on steel and aluminum. – Ed.), But prefer a different path.” The United States should take measures to prevent a trade war over the next few days, Le Mayor said.

Mnuchin conveys criticism of G7 partners to Trump

The head of the US Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin, said in response that the meeting was held “not in the G6 + 1 format, but in the G7 format,” and the US goal is “fair and balanced trade.” Washington will continue negotiations with its partners on exceptions to the rules on duties, Mnuchin noted. He also said that he had already conveyed some of the criticisms of the G7 partners to President Donald Trump, who, however, still had a very tough stance on this issue.

The decision to impose US duties on steel and aluminum for manufacturers from the European Union, Canada and Mexico came into effect at midnight on June 1, Washington time (at 7 a.m. Moscow time). The United States imposed duties of 25 percent on steel products and 10 percent on aluminum, originally from March 23, then deferred to EU companies twice. Canada and the European Union have filed complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the introduction of fees.

In early June, in Quebec, Canada, negotiations will be held between the heads of the G7 countries and governments, at which, as expected, the theme of US duties will be continued. The G7 group includes the USA, Germany, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, France and Italy.

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