Donald Trump launches TRADE WAR on EU: USA slaps massive tariffs on EU steel and aluminium | World | News

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The American President promised tariffs claiming trade across the Atlantic was a one-way street – and this afternoon he made good on his promise.

Mexico and Canada will also be hit by the measures.

The EU demanded a permanent exemption from the tariffs after it was granted a temporary one in April, but the plea was thrown-out by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The American met Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire earlier today in a last ditch attempt from the bloc to prevent US tariffs.

Following the unsuccessful meeting, Mr Le Maire said: “It’s entirely up to US authorities whether they want to enter into a trade conflict with their biggest partner, Europe.”

Europe did not want a trade war, he said, but Washington had to back down from “unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous tariffs”.

Mr Le Maire issued a threat, saying the EU would respond with “all necessary measures” if the US were to follow through imposing them.

But Mr Ross said the US would be ready to react to any EU measure.

He said: “If there is an escalation it will be because the EU would have decided to retaliate.

”The next question would be: how will the president react?

“You saw his reaction when China decided to retaliate.”

The shock economic blow comes the day after Mr Ross blasted the bloc, saying it should follow China’s example.

Referring to the on again off again trade talks between Washington and Beijing, Mr Ross said: “China is an interesting case in point.

“They are paying the tariffs, they came into effect in March and they haven’t used this as an excuse not to talk.

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“It’s only the EU insisting we can’t negotiate if there are tariffs.” 

The US administration has been trying to increase pressure on the EU to force it to negotiate tariffs. 

Among the concessions Mr Trump’s entourage is seeking, there is an agreement on a quota that would limit European steel and aluminium exports to the US.

The White House is also interested in seeing the 10 per cent auto tariff lowered, for which it would be ready to grant an exemption to the EU from the steel tariff.

The US war on the European car industry seems to be ready to worsen, as a bombshell report published earlier today by a German magazine announced Mr Trump wants to ban German cars from the US

The report follows the national security investigation into car and truck imports launched last week by the administration to determine if they “threaten and impair the security” of the country.

The tariffs were originally announced on March 1 when President Donald Trump said that the United States was being treated unfairly.

Arguing that trade trends “destroyed” American steel and aluminum industries, Mr Trump said: ”People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries.

“By people representing us who didn’t have a clue.” 

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