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The EU will not be blackmailed, say S&Ds to Trump


Global Europe
Speaking at a European Parliament plenary debate in Strasbourg, ahead of the deadline for EU exemptions from US punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium this Friday (June 1), the Socialists and Democrats reiterated their call on the EU to stand firm and not to negotiate under pressure and to protect European workers. 
S&D spokesperson for EU-USA trade relationships and chair of the European Parliament’s trade committee, Bernd Lange, said:
“The EU will not be blackmailed into dirty deals. The US punitive tariffs are in breach of international law, they are intended to undermine the global rules-based trade order and must be treated as such. They are no bargaining chip. 
“If Trump does not back off, the EU stands ready to react with proportionate countermeasures that will hit close to home. We hope to avoid a negative spiral leading to a trade war. Yet, the EU will not turn the other cheek time and again, but defend its workers and industries within the remits of international law. The EU will play its part in defending the multilateral rules-based trading order.”
Alessia Mosca, S&D spokesperson on trade, said:
“Who needs a friend that treats you like an adversary and resorts to threats and blackmail to reach his goals instead of engaging in dialogue? The EU cannot, and will not, cede to threats and concede to President Trump the fruits of months of negotiation and reciprocal cooperation with our partners. Our credibility as a leading global trade actor is at stake, and European jobs are on the line.”
“We Socialists and Democrats stand with the millions of European workers who worry about their future every time President Trump sends another tweet threatening punitive tariffs. We demand that the EU protects its workers at all cost and support the European Commission’ s proposed counter-measures and safeguard-clauses against punitive tariffs. We call for European unity and we stand for a Europe that protects.” 
Note to the editor:
On March 8th, President Trump, signed proclamations setting new tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminium (10%) imports based on claims that he was defending US national security. 
The EU was together with other US allies temporarily exempted – until 1st May 2018 – from these measures. This second and supposedly last exemption ends on 1st June 2018.