Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (31 May) on the decision by the US to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU:
“Europe united” can be our only answer to “America first”. We do not understand the decision by the US to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU and we oppose this step. The EU is prepared to react appropriately by taking countermeasures. We regard the unilateral step by the US as unlawful. We think it inappropriate to justify the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium and to consider imposing tariffs on car imports on the grounds of US national security.
We have repeatedly made clear to the US that we have no interest in an escalation in trade relations between the EU and US. There are no winners in trade conflicts. The European Commission has offered the US an opportunity to discuss its concerns. The German Government has also repeatedly spelt out to the US its willingness to engage in dialogue aimed at achieving the EU’s permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium. We will continue to lobby the US Administration for an open and multilateral trade system.