Germany backs European Union decision to respond to U.S. steel tariffs-spokesman

White House says ‘potential carve-outs’ for Canada Mexico on tariffs

White House says ‘potential carve-outs’ for Canada Mexico on tariffs

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said after meetings in Brussels that she got "no immediate clarity on the exact USA procedure for exemption", and that new talks are planned next week.

European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said she's still in the dark about whether the bloc will be let off the hook from planned USA tariffs after "frank" but ultimately fruitless talks with her American counterpart in Brussels on Saturday.

Trump signed proclamations Thursday imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, with the new taxes set to go into effect in two weeks.

"The loss of exports to the US, combined with an expected massive import surge in the European Union could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the European Union steel industry and related sectors", Eggert said.

Canada and Mexico were given specific exemptions from the tariffs for an indefinite period while negotiations continue on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"We are an ally, not a threat", Katainen said. The EU wants to find out exactly what mandate he has and precisely what conditions allow exemptions, but it is ruling out any negotiations for USA market access.

Brussels has prepared a list of United States products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs, but says it hopes to join Canada and Mexico in being exempted.

Seko did not go into what conditions might allow Japan to evade tariffs and, asked if Lighthizer had brought up the US trade deficit with Japan, Seko said no.

Malmstroem will hold talks Saturday with USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer.

The two also met with Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Hiroshige Seko, and all three pledged in a statement afterward to work together to fight dumping that hurts jobs and industries around the world. However, it took on more urgency after Trump's tariff move.

"We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told policy makers, experts and reporters at an event in Brussels.

It has also opened the door to a slew of complaints to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which has never ruled on a dispute involving trade restrictions justified on national-security grounds.

European steel and aluminium associations have warned that the USA tariffs could cost their sectors thousands of jobs.

Brussels is also looking at "safeguard" measures to protect its industry - restricting the bloc's imports of steel and aluminium to stop foreign supplies flooding the European market, which is allowed under World Trade Organization rules.

Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen warned Washington on Friday not to expect any concessions to win an exemption.

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