09.03.2018 | Germany panics: Angela Merkel loses her cool over Trump tariffs as US takes aim
Source - The Daily Express
Speaking in Munich the German leader said she is also seeking dialogue with her US counterpart and called for the EU to be exempt from the tarifs.
She said: "I believe that the channels of dialogue should be maintained."
President Donald Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium but exempted Canada and Mexico and offered the possibility of excluding other allies, backtracking from an earlier stance.
He imposed the tariffs after claiming the metal trade threatened “national security” by degrading the American industrial base.
Ms Merkel noted that the European Commission has proposed retaliatory measures if EU imports into the US are affected by the tariffs.
She said talks with the United States should be a priority, adding that Germany fully supports the Commission, which negotiates trade matters on behalf of the 28-nation bloc.
She said "the best thing would be if we (the European Union) could be excluded," adding if talks fail, "we, in Europe, can of course also react."
The German government also said it's "prepared for everything" in the growing spat.
The EU also drafted up a “provisional” list of 100 US brands it would target in retaliation to the new duties.
The draft list indicated the affected goods were worth £253 billion per year.
Striking a defiant tone, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen called Trump's speech protectionist, saying it remained unclear how a potential exclusion process would work.
He said: "To my ears it sounded very protectionist: economy without competition.
"We have to chose whether we want rules-based trade ... or whether we want the rule of force, the rule of the strongest, which we have now seen."
Experts fear the move could spark a trade war between the European Union and the US