European and Japanese trade representatives to urge US to back away from tariff decision

European and Japanese trade representatives to urge US to back away from tariff decision

Today, the European Union will host the United States and Japan for talks on trade. President Trump’s newly announced tariffs

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Photo: AP/Virginia Mayo

Today, the European Union will host the United States and Japan for talks on trade. President Trump’s newly announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports will dominate the agenda.

After announcing the measures, which will exclude Canada and Mexico, President Trump stated that other countries with “security relationships” with the US would be able to discuss “alternative ways” to address the tariffs; however, he gave no specifics.

At today’s meeting, expect EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Sekoto to press US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for details concerning exemptions for their respective countries,

The two will argue that their country’s steel and aluminium exports to the US do not pose a threat to America’s national security. Given President Trump’s emphasis on “flexibility”, the EU’s willingness to target goods produced in key Republican constituencies with retaliatory duties, and the necessity of Tokyo’s military cooperation, it is entirely possible that the tariffs will be lowered or dropped for EU countries and Japan.

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