On Saturday, the American President Donald Trump said he would drop the Customs tax on steel and aluminium for EU imports if the EU dropped their tax on American products.
The 25% tax on imported steel and the 10% tax on imported aluminium announced by Donald Trump have been contested by the EU and other US trade partners, like Japan. But they were left disappointed after Saturday’s meetings in Brussels.
“The EU, wonderful countries that however treat the US badly when it comes to trade, are complaining about Customs tax on steel and aluminium”, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. “If they get rid of the awful obstacles they have put in place, namely their Customs tax on American products, we will get rid of ours. If not, we will tax cars etc. Only fair!”
On Saturday, European officials told the American Trade Representative, Robert Lightizer, that they were disappointed with this response. Mr Lightizer was in Brussels for a long planned meeting with Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko. Japan and the EU both want to be exempt from the American tax.
At today’s press conference (12 March), a spokesperson for the European Commission said that the Commission is still waiting for clarity about the possibility of exemption for the EU. While no new meetings between US and EU are planned this week, contacts between the two sides are taking place.
Addressing the US, the spokesperson said that “before throwing stones, be sure that you don’t live in a glasshouse.”