The European Union must reach a common stance on the threatened U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum by April 30, but Germany’s willingness to give concessions is the opposite of what France wants.
France doesn’t want EU to make any concessions but instead wants to focus on pressuring China over subsidies and overcapacity in the steel industry. Germany on the other hand wants to protect its export-led industry but this might alienate other EU countries like France, Bloomberg reports.
The German government appears ready to discuss with the EU any measures to counter the U.S. threat to impose tariffs, with local media reporting that the German car industry supports a reduction in the 10 percent EU tariff on cars in order to avoid a trade dispute.
President Trump spoke with both Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron according to White House statements. He and Merkel “discussed joining forces to counter China’s unfair economic practices and of intellectual property,” as well as “leveling the playing field on tariffs,” the White House said.
Macron said to Trump that European steel and aluminum exports are not a security threat to the U.S., and that the rules of international trade need to be “reinforced” to ensure such a level playing field, according to the French President’s office.