Vastavam web: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will urge the European Union to lower its trade barriers, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday, calling them unfair to U.S. farmers and industry, a view the EU firmly rejects.The European Commission accused Trump of “cherry-picking” data to distort the debate in a transatlantic dispute that threatens to become a trade war.
The EU is seeking to be exempted from planned U.S. import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, but says Washington has not made clear how the exemption process works.Representatives from the Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to queries on the content or timing of those discussions.French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he was worried about the possibility of a U.S.-EU trade war.
“We believe there will only be losers,” he told reporters in Brussels. “We have to find solutions, we have to make the assessment and we will have thereafter to take the necessary steps, to find a way out and to fix the issue.”It also said Trump was “cherry-picking” particular tariffs to highlight differences, and maintained average tariffs were very similar on each side of the Atlantic — 3 percent for products into Europe and 2.4 percent into the United States.
The U.S. tariff for cars, at 2.5 percent, was lower than the EU rate of 10 percent, but its rate of up to 25 percent on trucks was higher. The Commission spokesman also pointed to U.S. import duties of up to 48 percent on shoes, 12 percent on textiles and 164 percent on peanuts.“The EU market is one of the most open in the world and if anyone starts throwing stones, it’s better first to make sure he is not living in a glasshouse.”
The EU, he said, preferred dialogue, but was continuing its preparations for a “firm and proportionate” response.Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said at a steel conference in Germany that Europe did not understand the logic of the proposed U.S. tariffs on the basis of national security and was preparing retaliatory measures if necessary.