The European Commission on Monday again requested from Washington that the EU be exempted from additional duties on aluminium and steel that President Donald J. Trump signed into law last week.
The Commission’s spokesperson for Trade Enrico Brivio told reporters that despite ongoing talks with US officials, the EU’s status as to whether it will be included on the list remains still remains unresolved.
Brivio reiterated Brussels’ firm stance that the EU is the US’ closest ally and one of its main strategic trading partners, and, therefore, not a national threat. The bloc is hoping for an exemption from Trump’s crippling new 25% tariffs on aluminium imports and 10% tax on steel.
The European Union has demanded that the US Administration provides “more” clarity over the next week.
“We are close allies of the US and continue to insist that the EU should be excluded (from the tariffs),” said Brivio, before adding, “the format for further discussions is still pending,” but the European Union will request more information as there will be contacts “at various levels during the week”.
“We hope that the US will give us some clearer indications about the process of possible exclusions…from there we will see,” Brivio told reporters.
On March 10, Europe’s Commissioner of Trade Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Economy and Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko met US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, where the two outlined their arguments with Lighthizer, saying that both the EU and Japan are strategic trade and security partners of the United States and are therefore exempt from the new tariffs according to US law that grants exceptions for allies and those that do not pose a national security threat.
Malmström met bilaterally with Lighthizer where she outlined the EU’s planned countermeasures if Trump refuses to grant an exception to the bloc. Brussels has drawn up a provisional list of items that would be subject to stiff new taxes in response to Trump including, steel products, jeans, bourbon, peanut butter, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, orange juice and blueberries – to which an equivalent tariff would apply – as well as several other items.