BRUSSELS, The European Commission said Tuesday that it has taken note of the decision of the US to prolong the European Union’s (EU) exemption from import tariffs on steel and aluminum for a short period, until early June 2018.
“The US decision prolongs market uncertainty, which is already affecting business decisions. The EU should be fully and permanently exempted from these measures, as they cannot be justified on the grounds of national security,” said the EU’s executive body in a press release.
“The EU has also consistently indicated its willingness to discuss current market access issues of interest to both sides, but has also made clear that, as a longstanding partner and friend of the US, we will not negotiate under threat. Any future transatlantic work programme has to be balanced and mutually beneficial,” it stated.
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom has been in contact with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the past weeks, and these discussions will continue, it added. The US Administration announced yesterday that the EU’s temporary exemption from the decision to impose 25 percent additional duties on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be extended until early June.
Source: Kuwait News Agency