It had been brewing for a while and now it's official: the guillotine of American tariffs on steel and aluminum (25% on steel imports to the US and 10% on aluminum) has finally hit Europe, Canada and Mexico. The US has in fact decided to not renew the temporary exemption established on April 30th which was excluding the three countries from the duties. The EU response was immediate: "I am concerned by this decision. The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organisation rules," said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. "The US now leaves us with no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the US." "It’s a bad day for world trade," continued Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, "We will now trigger a dispute settlement case at the WTO, since these US measures clearly go against agreed international rules. We will also impose rebalancing measures and take any necessary step to protect the EU market from trade diversion caused by these US restrictions."Eurofer, the European Steel Association, also intervened through the words of its Director General Axel Eggert: "We regret that the US has taken this unnecessarily damaging step. We support the Commission in its responses to the US’ trade action – and urge all EU stakeholders to remain united in order to face down both the US’ measure and the incoming inundation of deflected steel products”. It seems that the announced commercial war has begun.
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