Tuesday, May 28

Europe could enter a trade war with the US: Angela Merkel



Angela Merkel has suggested Europe could enter a trade war with the US if Washington does not continue to exempt the EU from import tariffs it has placed on much of the rest of the world.

The German chancellor said she had the support of both Theresa May and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Europe has so far been let off steep aluminium and steel tariffs imposed by the US on countries including China and Canada.

But the temporary exemption ends on Tuesday and visits from both Ms Merkel and Mr Macron in the last week appear to have failed to convince US president Donald Trump to extend it.

In a statement released on Sunday after she arrived back from Washington, Ms Merkel said Europe was resolved to defend its interests within the multilateral trade framework.

She added she had spoken to both Ms May and Mr Macron by phone and that all three agreed that the US ought not to take any trade measures against the European Union,

The chancellor’s statement did not outline specific steps that might be taken.

But, in April, China hit back against the policy by placing £70bn worth of its own tariffs on more than 120 American goods including rolled steel bars, scrap aluminium, pork and wine.

Speaking last week ahead of his now-famous visit to the US, Mr Macron also urged Mr Trump not to include Europe in the tariffs.

 You don’t make trade war with your ally, he told Fox News Sunday. It’s too complicated if you make war against everybody. You make trade war against China, trade war against Europe, war in Syria, war against Iran. Come on, it doesn’t work. You need allies. We are an ally.