President Donald Trump's approach to steel overcapacity is wrong, the European Union's (EU) trade chief said Friday, hoping to get confirmation from the U.S. that the bloc will be excluded from the new tariffs.
Trump fueled concerns of a potential trade war on Thursday, when signingtwo proclamations that will lead to tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs. The EU, which has presented counter-measures to respond to Trump's tariffs, is hoping that the U.S. will remove the group of 28 nations from the list.
Speaking at a panel discussion on Friday in Brussels, Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's trade commissioner, criticized Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium products.
"We had been in talks with our American friends for quite some time to explain to them that whereas we share the concerns over overcapacity in the steel sector, this is not the right way to deal with it," Malmstrom said.
Western countries, including the U.S., Italy and Belgium, have been hit by a collapse in steel prices. Lower demand for the product and, until recently, rising production in China, have led to job losses in the industry and lower prices.
"And it is certainly not the right way to include Europe in that because we are friends, we are allies, we work together, we cannot possibly be a threat to national security in the U.S. so we are counting on being excluded," the Swedish politician said.