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    EU “ready to react” if US imposes trade restrictions

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The European Union is “ready to react swiftly and appropriately” if the United States takes trade measures that would affect European industry, a spokesperson of the European Commission said on Tuesday. “We stand ready to react swiftly and appropriately in case our exports are affected by any restrictive trade measure from the United States,” spokesman Margaritis Schinas said at the Commission’s daily press conference. “We would be taking appropriate measures to defend EU industry,” he stressed, adding however,  “we are not in a trade war”.

    The Trump administration has drawn up three scenarios for taxes or quotas on US aluminum and steel imports, pointing to the need to preserve national security and US jobs, the U.S. Trade Secretary revealed on Friday. President Donald Trump has until the 11th of April to make a final decision on steel and until the 19th of April for aluminum.  All exporter countries are concerned, particularly China.

    Schinas said the EU felt trade should be open, fair and based on rules, adding that the Union was deeply concerned about the possible U.S. measures.

    According to the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Commission stands ready to retaliate on various U.S. products, from orange juice and whisky to motorcycles. Asked about this by Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency, the Commission declined to comment.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times