GERMANY (OBSERVATORY) – Germany expects Washington to start imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union as of May 1, hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel went to the United States, a government source said on Thursday.
“In the current circumstances, we have to assume that the tariffs will be applied on May 1,” the source said on the eve of talks in Washington between President Donald Trump and the German Chancellor.
“Then we’ll see how we handle it.”
The US president announced last month that the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, saying foreign imports were harming US national security by weakening domestic production necessary for military readiness.
After US allies denounced the resolution, Trump was granted a temporary exemption to major trading partners including Canada and the European Union.
Merkel’s priority in visiting Washington is to strengthen economic ties with the United States, according to the government source, who added that Berlin is ready to renegotiate industrial tariffs with the United States.
“We can talk about this again,” the source said.
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said last week that Brussels did not expect less than a permanent exemption from US fees.
Brussels has prepared a list of countermeasures in the event that the United States does not extend the period of the exemption and begin to impose duties.