S&Ds warn of tit-for-tat escalation between EU and US, as trade war has no winners

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Press release

The Socialists and Democrats strongly condemned US President Trump’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, at a plenary debate in the European Parliament this morning. They urged the Commission and member states to stand firm but not fall into the trap of a tit-for-tat escalation leading to a trade war.
 
S&D Group spokesperson for EU-USA trade relationships and chair of the European parliament’s trade committee, Bernd Lange, said:
 
“We call on the Commission and member states to stay united and firm in the up-coming negotiations with the US. Possible exemptions for the EU cannot be bought at the price of excessive concessions. Bullying and deal-making may be President Trump’s everyday business, but in Europe we have replaced the law of the jungle with the rule of law. Trump’s decision to impose heavy import duties on steel and aluminium is a clear breach of international law and we demand that the US again play by the rules.
 
“Engaging in dialogue and building alliances are the EU’s strengths, and this is what we are going to do. We will work together with partners like Japan, Mexico and Brazil towards a joint complaint to put to the WTO and seek to convince Republican members of congress, whose consent Trump would need for imposing heavy tariffs on cars. We urge all sides not to fall into the trap of tit-for-tat escalation, as a trade war has no winners.”
 
S&D Group spokesperson for trade, Alessia Mosca, said:
 
“Contrary to what President Trump believes trade is not a zero-sum game. In a multilateral rules-based system, trade is a positive-sum game where everyone stands to gain.  With his protectionist policies, President Trump is inflicting harm on the American people. American workers and companies will be the first to bear the brunt of retaliatory trade barriers. 140.000 American jobs will be lost as a consequence of the steel and aluminium tariffs and American consumers will pay higher prices for goods.
 
“With his decision to impose heavy import duties, President Trump threatens to undermine the very rule-based system that offers the best protection for workers and industries against dumped and subsidised products. In line with our progressive trade agenda we Socialists and Democrats will continue to work towards strengthening international rules and reforming the WTO to protect our workers and industries.”

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