Lighthizer's meetings with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom and separately with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko were long planned, but they took on added urgency as allies warned the U.S. moves could provoke a global trade war.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that a trade war with the U.S.
European Commissioner Malmstrom, who coordinates policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, said she stood ready to go to the WTO, the worldwide trade arbiter, to impose the bloc's own safeguards within 90 days.
Trade representatives for Japan and the European Union met with the USA trade representative Saturday in an effort to avoid a trade war over President Donald Trump's new tariffs on aluminum and steel.
Last Thursday, Donald Trump announced - without first addressing his administration - that the USA would be invoking a policy allowing them to put tariffs of 10 per cent on aluminum and 25 per cent on steel when there is a "threat to national security".
President Donald Trump's announcement of duties of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminium has stung the European Union, along with other major partners including Japan, whose Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko also attended the talks in Brussels. "Border trade empowers New Mexico's economy, and any change of our relationship with Mexico - because of tariffs or the renegotiation of NAFTA - must protect the thousands of working New Mexicans whose livelihoods depend on stable trade relations with Mexico". "And in addition, we will have to think about counter-measures".More news: Which Video Game Publishers And Developers Were Invited To The White House
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South Korean steel stocks ended lower last week after the United States made a decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel products, as growing downside exerted pressure on steelmakers, analysts said Sunday.
"A good example of that is a steel order that we were to place last week that was $125,000 turned into a steel order of $150,000", said Cloacina CEO Troy Ellison.
Britain blasted the tariffs as "not the right way" to tackle the problem of global overcapacity in steel and said it would work with the European Union to consider the scope for exemptions.
European industry associations called on Malmstrom to react to the tariffs.
Trump sees the WTO, effectively the Supreme Court of trade, as pro China and anti American and isn't at all anxious that protectionist moves by him could lead to a trade war.
During the ceremony Thursday, Trump noted that business executive Elon Musk had tweeted that a vehicle exported from the United States to China faces a 25 percent tariff, while a auto shipped in the other direction enters the American market with a 2.5 percent duty.
Canada, which has been exempted, accounted for the largest share (16 percent), followed by Brazil (13 percent), South Korea at (10 percent) and Mexico and Russian Federation (9 percent each).
"Of course, we would have to take proceedings against him at the WTO", Zypries said.