Following Trump’s announcement of his plans to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (2 March):
I am very concerned about US President Trump’s announcement of his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports of 25% and 10% respectively. Unlike other countries perhaps, German and European businesses in the steel and aluminium industry do not engage in unfair competition by offering goods at knockdown prices. But our exports and jobs would be amongst those hardest hit by such an all out US measure.
Justifying this step by citing national US security interests (Section 232) is absolutely incomprehensible, particularly when it comes to EU and NATO partners.
The EU needs to react resolutely to the US tariffs which put thousands of jobs in Europe at risk. Washington should be absolutely clear about this. This looming major trade dispute between the United States and Europe is not in the interest of either Europe or the United States. The fact is that when two people quarrel, the third rubs his hands together.That is why I hope President Trump will rethink his announcement. We have to do all we can to avoid an international trade conflict.