Isolde Ries, CoR rapporteur on the challenges facing the steel sector and First Vice-President of the Saarland Parliament (PES/Germany), strongly criticised the US tariffs of 25% on EU steel imports, introduced as of today.
"European steel products do not endanger the national security of the United States. The tariffs lead to distortions in international competition and constitute yet another proof of the growing protectionism in US foreign trade policy", she emphasised.
Urging that the foreign trade policy talks between the European Commission and the US administration be continued, she added: "In the event of further escalation of the trade conflict, there could only be economic losers on both sides, in the EU and in the USA."
She underlined that at the same time, the EU must also consider a complaint to the World Trade Organization regarding US tariffs on steel imports.
Last but not least, Isolde Ries insisted on the importance of protecting the domestic steel companies with suitable instruments from diverted trade flows from third countries. "We must be aware that there are third country steel products that have so far been delivered to the US and are now entering the EU since there are no comparable foreign trade and customs barriers in Europe", she explained.