President Trump has hit back against the EU which has been critical of his “American First” policy, describing it as “very protectionist.” Trump turned the tables on the EU and declared:”They are very protectionist and we are not.”
Trump said that, in fact, “We have things that we can hardly sell to the E.U.” The President made the remarks during the interaction with reporters on board Air Force One flight from the U.S. to France where he made a successful visit on the invite of President Emmanuel Macron.
The Trump administration is prepared to break ties with the bloc over financial market regulation in the midst of persistent tensions with powerhouse Germany. Trump is ready to punish the EU and Germany by issuing tariffs on dozens of the product if the bloc continues to refuse to open its market to U.S. meat.
There is also the issue of Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement has also caused tensions between him and the EU, particularly a vocal Germany.
Proving that he is serious to correct trade agreements that are detrimental and unfair to the U.S., Trump has also threatened China with punitive measures on steel. He said that the steel dumping from China and other countries are becoming a very big problem that is destroying the American steel industry.
Trump said: “They’re dumping steel and destroying our steel industry, they’ve been doing it for decades, and I’m stopping it. It’ll stop.” It has been his campaign promise to help revive U.S. manufacturing. The Trump administration’s moves on steel tariffs and quotas could be unveiled in the coming weeks. He said: “There are two ways: quotas and tariffs. Maybe I’ll do both.”
Shares of U.S. steel companies outperformed this week due to anticipation for such tariffs and after Trump’s statements.
Trump ordered in April a probe into curbing steel imports amid “national security “fears in April. It was aimed at cheap imports from China but has also sparked some concerns from European steel exporters as well, who are nervous that they might also be targeted by the U.S. crackdown.