The European Commission (EC) has angrily reacted to news that the United States will impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU).
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced at a news briefing Thursday that tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports will take effect from midnight.
In a tweet following the news, the EC said: "The EU believes these unilateral U.S. tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organization rules. This is protectionism, pure and simple."
In a press release, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU was being hurt as much as the U.S. by overcapacity in the steel sector.
He added that the U.S. was "playing into the hands of those responsible for the problem" and that the EU now had no choice but to proceed with legal challenge via the World Trade Organization (WTO).