EU says to hold more talks with US next week on tariff exemption

Sunday, 2018-03-11 07:36:12
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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko take part in a meeting to discuss steel overcapacity, in Brussels, Belgium March 10, 2018. (Photo:Reuters)
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Europe's trade chief said talks with the United States on an exemption for the bloc from new US tariffs would continue next week after a Saturday meeting had not brought clarity on the exemption procedure.

Talks with US trade envoy Robert Lighthizer in Brussels were "frank", European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom tweeted on March 10, but "brought no immediate clarity".

"As a close security and trade partner of the US, the EU must be excluded from the announced measures," she tweeted following the meeting. "No immediate clarity on the exact US procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week."

"EU, Japan, US agreed on further steps in our ongoing cooperation to tackle trade--distorting practices in sectors such as steel. Stronger rules on industrial subsidies, etc.," she added.

The trilateral talks between Malmstrom and Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was followed by a bilateral meeting between Malmstrom and Lighthizer.

"I had a frank discussion with the US side about the serious pending issue of steel and aluminium tariffs," she said.

The ministers agreed to meet again in the margins of the OECD ministerial meeting in Paris to discuss overcapacity issues.

US President Donald Trump formally signed proclamations to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum on March 8, with initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico, saying exemptions could be made for other countries through negotiations.

The EU has threatened to take retaliation measures if it is included in the those tariffs.

Reuters, Xinhua