EU will hold their ground over protectionism and US tariffs - Malmström
European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the bloc “will stand up to the bullies” over protectionism and will not be intimidated by the US on trade tariffs.
Her comments on Monday were the latest move in the strained trade relationship building between the EU and the US after President Donald Trump announced the introduction of 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminium.
Malmström said that protectionism was being used as a weapon to threaten and intimidate the EU and Europe would not stand for it.
"In some places, trade has been to blame for the pains of globalisation or they used it as a scapegoat or they think we can live behind walls and borders.
"Recently we have seen how it is used as a weapon to threaten and intimidate us. But we are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies," she said.
Malström met with the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer last week to discuss the new protectionist measures and it is expected that the talks will continue this week.
The EU argued that their exports should be excluded from the measures. Malmstrom also said on Monday that "she read on Twitter" that Trump would clarify on which countries could be spared.
President Trump had declared via Twitter that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would negotiate with EU representatives over the “large tariffs and barriers they use against the USA”. He has deemed them unfair on farmers and manufacturers.
He also threatened to tax German cars if the EU doesn’t lower barriers on US-made products.