Customs duties on steel and aluminium: Juncker clear that EU will “react firmly”
Share article:
Share article:

Customs duties on steel and aluminium: Juncker clear that EU will “react firmly”

© Belga
© Belga

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, confirmed on Thursday that the European Union “will react both firmly and proportionally to defend (its) interests.” His statement came after Donald Trump’s announcement of high taxes on steel and aluminium imports to the United States.

The head of the European Executive, cited in a press communiqué, says this American decision “is a great regret to us.” He added that the Commission would set out “a proposal with counter-measures against the US, in the coming days. These will be compatible with WTO rules to rebalance the situation.”

On Thursday, the American President, Donald Trump, announced that he will place high customs duties on steel and aluminium imports into United States, at risk of causing a trade war with the US’s main trade partners, China and the EU.

He claimed, “I will promulgate this next week.” The American President mentioned customs duties of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminium, without however specifying which countries the duties will be aimed at.

steein0203be92093503 89927451

Trump later doubled down on the potential trade wars in a tweet saying: “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

Mr Juncker says that the American initiative seems to be “a blatant intervention to protect national industry” in the United States, and “does not rest upon a national security justification.”

The President of the Commission warns, “Instead of providing a solution, this decision can only serve to make the situation worse.” He added, “We will not stand idly by whilst our industry is hit by unfair measures.”

The European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, also bemoaned, in the same communiqué, the American measures which “will have a negative impact upon both transatlantic relationships and global markets.”

She considered these measures “will both increase cost and reduce the choice for American steel and aluminium consumers, including for industries importing these products.”

Ms Malmström added, “The EU will start consultations as soon as possible upon regulating the disagreements with the US in Geneva.” 

She stated, “The Commission will monitor the evolution of the markets. If necessary we will propose measures to safeguard the position, compatible with the WTO [World Trade Organisation] to preserve the stability of the EU markets in steel and aluminium.”

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...