EU, Japan seek clarity from crisis US trade talks

Young journalists club

News ID: 20372
Publish Date: 20:03 - 10 March 2018
TEHRAN, March 10 - The EU and Japan held crunch talks with their US counterparts in Brussels on Saturday, hoping to get "clarity" on President Donald Trump's controversial new steel and aluminum tariffs.

EU, Japan seek clarity from crisis US trade talksTEHRAN,Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Trump's announcement of duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum has stung the European Union, along with other major partners and triggered warnings of an all-out international trade war.

The real estate tycoon also faced a backlash at home with his top economic advisor Gary Cohn stepping down in opposition and senior Republican allies venting shock and dismay.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back, loudly announcing a list of US products to hit with countermeasures, if its exports are affected by the tariffs, but says it hopes to join Canada and Mexico in being exempted.

Japan has decried the "grave impact" the Trump measures could have on the world economy.

The EU's top trade official Cecilia Malmstroem and Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko met for preliminary talks in Brussels, before being joined by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, a loyalist to Trump's "America First" mantra.

The talks, initially set to address China's over-supply of steel, have long been in the diary, but after Trump's dramatic announcement, they are now a de facto crisis meeting.

With tensions at a peak, officials kept a tight lid on the content of the meeting and sought to keep low expectations for any breakthrough.

"We are looking for a bit more clarity on the process of what happens next from the US," an EU official said on condition of anonymity.

"There are low expectations for any solution today, but maybe we can get an idea of how we can get to one," the source added.

Malmstroem told reporters on Friday that Brussels was "counting on being excluded" from the new duties.

She predicted a "long day" of talks on Saturday, while European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen sought to play down the gathering, saying it was "a meeting, not THE meeting".

Katainen said Brussels wanted "clarity" on how the tariffs will be implemented and was ready to enforce retaliatory measures to protect European interests if needed.

"We are prepared and will be prepared if need be to use rebalancing measures," Katainen said.

Source: AFP

japan ، eu ، US ، trump ، aluminum ، steel ، tariffs
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