Import Duties: Trump wants import duties also for steel and aluminium from the EU

The US Customs exemptions for the EU will end tomorrow. No agreement has yet been reached. According to American media, President Trump is now planning to make his threat come true.

Import Duties: Trump wants import duties also for steel and aluminium from the EU

According to media information, US is about to make its threat a reality and impose import duties on steel and aluminium products from EU. A statement was planned for this Thursday, one day before deadline for agreement in trade dispute, which has been continuing for months, news agencies Reuters and AP unanimously reported, citing initiated persons. However, timing could still be postponed.

The Wall Street Journal reported as first medium on planned end of existing exemptions for EU. Citing a person familiar with matter, newspaper wrote that government could still change its plans, especially if both sides were able to agree at last minute. However, it did not last. For example, a conversation between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and her US counterpart, Wilbur Ross, did not bring about hoped-for breakthrough on Wednesday.

At Ministry of Commerce and Office of Trade Representative in Washington, no one was initially able to reach an opinion. If it actually comes to extent that customs duties are imposed, economists fear outbreak of a trade war. The EU Commission has already prepared countermeasures. It could occupy American products such as jeans, Harley Motorcycles and bourbon with customs duties. US President Donald Trump, on or hand, has also brought customs duties on foreign cars in addition to metal duties.

On March 23, Trump had ordered tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and ten per cent on imported aluminium. He justified this with protection of national security, which, like domestic industry, was threatened by imports. However, some States were initially exempted from customs duties, including in addition to members of European Union, including Canada and Mexico. Trump demands concessions for a permanent derogation.

Altmaier: "It's about avoiding a trade war"

Customs duties would be effective from 1 June onwards, if exceptions to date have not been extended. Over past few weeks, several heads of state and Government have tried to persuade Trump to actually take duties into effect. At last, however, pessimistic assessments were increasing, as regards success of an agreement. Malmström, for instance, said to European Parliament that y are realistically no longer expecting a permanent exception. A spokesman for Federal Ministry of Economics said that federal government is also assuming that duties will come on Friday.

Federal Economics minister Peter Altmaier, who intervened in negotiations at conference of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, called for a coordinated approach by EU to a trumps decision. "We know that end result is to avoid a trade war," said CDU politician. "But to achieve this, it is extremely important that message from Europe is clear and united." French President Emmanuel Macron warned: "All sides are losing in a trade war."

The German economy sees growth prospects of eurozone's largest economy affected by dispute. The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) clearly lowered its prognosis against this backdrop. This year it will only be counted with a plus in gross domestic product of 2.2 percent, a half point less than last.

DIHK President Eric Schweitzer said in preliminary report to Rheinische Post that German economy is dependent on open markets. The EU must move closer toger and defend its interests, in case of doubt also with countermeasures. "Orwise, re is a risk that new ideas for customs duties on or products will lead to an endless spiral in trading poker."

Date Of Update: 31 May 2018, 12:02

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