Exemption from punitive tariffs must not blind us to the damage done to rules-based trade order by Trump, warn S&Ds

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The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament warn that a relief from prolonged EU exemption from US steel and aluminum tariffs should not deter attention from the US administration’s continued breach of international law. A solution must be found within the framework of the World Trade Organisation, they say. The S&D Group has requested a plenary debate for this week on the EU’s response to the US tariffs.
 
S&D spokesperson for EU-USA trade relationships and chair of the European parliament’s trade committee, Bernd Lange, said:
 
"Last night’s decision to prolong the EU’s exemption from US punitive tariffs is an important step. But it must not blind us to the fact that the US measures are still in breach of international law and are intended to undermine our rules-based trade order.
 
"We must come to terms with the fact that the US are no longer a reliable partner. Together, with our international partners and united as Europeans, we must learn to deal with this new situation. One thing is sure: if countries go it alone, everybody will end up getting hurt.
 
"Negotiations under pressure are unacceptable. We Europeans stand for the rule of law, not the law of the jungle.”
 
S&D Group spokesperson for trade, Alessia Mosca, said:
 
“The prolonged exemption from US punitive tariffs is at best a bitter sweet victory. The EU has always been a proud partner of the US and from friends you would expect fair and decent treatment, not what is happening from the US side.
 
“The Socialists and Democrats call on the European Commission and all the institutional actors involved to continue working together for a permanent exemption from the US punitive tariffs, and to carry on co-operating within the framework of the World Trade Organisation to unblock this situation.
 
“Once more, the EU has shown that its strength lies in its unity: the exemption would for sure not have been prolonged if we Europeans had not remained united. We must now double our efforts to make the US administration realise that a trade war knows no winners and would entail dramatic short and long-term consequences on both sides of the Atlantic.”