Japan trade minister calls for calm heads over US….

Japan trade minister calls for calm heads over US….

Announcing the tariffs, Trump said Canada and Mexico would be excluded and other countries could negotiate exemptions, but he singled out Germany for particular criticism.

Anders Samuelsen says "at the end of the day, European and American consumers will pay for it".

There was some hope that free trade proponents in the White House, such as economic adviser Gary Cohn, would dissuade Trump from going ahead with the tariffs.

Trump, elected on a promise to roll back the effects of globalisation on the United States economy with an "America First" platform, said Thursday he planned to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium.

The list is being finalized but so far includes US steel and agricultural products, as well as other products such as bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

The EU has said that global import tariffs are not the right answer to the sector's problems, which it says are mainly down to overcapacity.

"This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this".

Japan's trade minister sought an exemption from USA import tariffs on steel and aluminium on Saturday (March 10) and called for "calm-headed behaviour" in a dispute that threatens to spiral into a trade war. "We can also do stupid".

Mr Trump signed an order on Thursday to set import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, to come into effect in 15 days.

Malmstrom said she still believed a solution could be found but added she was prepared to take action at the World Trade Organisation if the US extended the tariffs to European Union producers.

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The EU was clear on Friday that it views tariffs and defense as separate.

If the European Union is hit with tariffs, it will be ready to respond within 90 days as prescribed by the World Trade Organization, Malmstrom said.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo has expressed concerns about a trade war and appealed for cool heads to prevail.

Last year, China imported 3.2 million tons of U.S. coal, worth about $420 million and almost five times the amount it took in 2016. Almost half the steel produced globally in December, for example, came from Chinese mills, according to the World Steel Association.

But the USA has already thrown up barriers to Chinese imports.

EU Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs summits of presidents and prime ministers, said the bloc's leaders will discuss the issue at their next meeting on March 22-23.

Speaking live on Denmark's TV2, Samuelsen said U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed trade tariffs are "a bad call".

"President Trump has recently said, and I quote, 'trade wars are good and easy to win, '" Tusk told a press conference in Luxembourg. We will react firmly and proportionally in the spirit of WTO rules.

The White House said the move will help the United States protect industries and jobs from unfair competition and that across-the-board tariffs are needed because countries like China use third countries for shipping steel to the United States, disguising its origin.

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