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New German economy minister wants to negotiate end to US trade row

Europe
15.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - The new German economy minister, Peter Altmaier, wants to negotiate an end to the current tariff dispute with the United States, the politician said on Thursday.

In the end, higher tariffs meant that citizens would pay the price, said Altmaier during the handover to him from his predecessor of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin.

Last week, Trump declared global tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminium with exemptions for Canada and Mexico and potential flexibility for others, triggering a wave of international condemnation and stoking fears of a trade war.

Altmaier will soon be in discussion his US counterpart Wilbur Ross, he said.

An escalation must be avoided, Altmaier said, emphasizing the importance of open and fair world trade.

In response to Trump‘s tariffs, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker threatened the US with the introduction of counter-tariffs.

The EU is now considering an increase on the import of US goods such as bourbon, Harley Davidson motorcycles and peanut butter.

Berlin has been one of the most dovish of the EU member states regarding the bloc‘s response to Trump‘s proposed tariffs.

Altmaier was sworn into office on Wednesday along with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the rest of the cabinet in her new grand coalition government after almost six months of political deadlock.

 

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