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GERMANY PANICS: Angela Merkel LOSES her cool over Trump tariffs as US takes aim

March 9, 2018 12:46 PM
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GERMANY PANICS: Angela Merkel LOSES her cool over Trump tariffs as US takes aim

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she sees President Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs "with concern" and she supports the EU Commission in addressing the World Trade Organization about the dispute.

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.

Mr Trump has singled out German cars for possible future tariff increases, a move that would be damaging to Germany's economy.

Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday, Cecilia Maelstrom European Commissioner for Trade, blasted the American President, calling his justification “alarming”.

Ms Maelstrom slapped down his reasons saying it was an “economic safeguard in disguise”.

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