The Trump administration is reportedly planning to impose import tariffs on European steel and aluminum after finding no satisfaction in its effort to win trading concessions on the issue. An announcement dropping the EU from an exemption to global tariffs of 25% on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum, could come on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The move is likely to bring retaliatory action from European Union trade regulators who have warned they will target American products as motorcycles, jeans and bourbon if additional US tariffs are imposed. Signs of increasing friction between the US and Europe over trade came early Wednesday when Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, drew a sharp line with the EU over Chinese trade negotiations, telling counterparts at a trade development panel in Paris that Europe is using tariffs as an “excuse” to refuse trade negotiations.
“China are paying their tariffs,” Ross told the panel. “China hasn’t used that as an excuse not to negotiate … It’s only the EU that is insisting we can’t negotiate if there are tariffs,” he added.