Europe has 'arsenal of weapons' to respond to Trump's tariffs: EU's Moscovici

President Donald Trump center speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Thursday before signing two proclamations one on steel imports and the other on aluminum imports. Standing with Trump are workers left Vice President Mike Pe

"Given the circumstances, during the visit of US Ambassador Lighthizer to Brussels this Saturday, the EU will convey the message that we expect the EU to be fully excluded from the US measures without preconditions or negotiations", a European Commission source said ahead of the talks on condition of anonymity.

The EU's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has met with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer amid efforts for the European Union to secure an exemption from steel and aluminium imports imposed by US President Donald Trump.

Trump signed proclamations Thursday imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, with the new taxes set to go into effect in two weeks.

Canada and Mexico will be exempt from the tariffs initially, and Australia is optimistic that it too will gain exemption.

The US president's plan would affect European Union steel exports, valued at €5.3 billion and aluminium exports worth €1.1 billion a year ago, and has opened the door to the prospect of an imminent transatlantic trade war.

Trade representatives for Japan and the European Union met with the US trade representative Saturday in an effort to avoid a trade war over President Donald Trump's new tariffs on aluminum and steel.

The EU insists that it is committed to open, global trade, and that Trump's tariffs are a protective measure to prop up USA industry that could undermine the worldwide trading system.

"We expressed our concern".

Malmstroem will hold talks Saturday with US trade representative Robert Lighthizer.

Seko did not go into what conditions might allow Japan to evade tariffs and, asked if Lighthizer had brought up the USA trade deficit with Japan, Seko said no.

"We call for calm-headed behaviour", Mr Seko said.

But she warned that if the issue can't be resolved bilaterally or through the World Trade Organization, then "we will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures".

Germany - singled out for particular criticism by Trump - accused Washington of protectionism, calling the tariffs an "affront to close partners".

But after two-way talks with Lighthizer, Malmstroem tweeted: "No immediate clarity on the exact United States procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week".

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: "We all have to choose whether we want rules-based trade - which supports rules-based world order - or do we want rule of force, or the rule of the strongest, which we have now seen?"

The European steel association Eurofer in Brussels today warned the US President's new import tariffs were "harmful and counterproductive" and could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Europe.

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