2018-03-02 — nytimes.com
The European Union, Germany, Canada and other nations have threatened retaliation against the United States after President Trump vowed to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Denunciations flowed in on Friday from governments, lawmakers, metals makers and labor unions.
Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said on Friday that the government "rejects" the tariffs, adding that such measures could lead to a global trade war, which "can't be in anyone's interest."
Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, president of the German Steel Federation, said on Friday:
"These measure clearly violate the rules of the World Trade Organization. If the E.U. does not react, our steel industry will pay the bill for U.S. protectionism." He called on the bloc to take action, through the World Trade Organization.
Officials around the world have been voicing varying degrees of dismay and anger since the proposal was unveiled on Thursday.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said: "We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk.."
Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said on Thursday, "Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers."
But Li Xinchuang, vice chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, was more blunt. In a phone interview on Friday, he said: "I feel Trump's decision is stupid. It will only make the U.S. steel industry, which is already 10 years behind China, more left behind."
He added, "Trump's decision does no good to everyone except a few American steel enterprises. Trump is a businessman, and he should understand win-win. But he took such extreme action."
In a sign of the potentially adverse effects that Mr. Trump's plan may have on the American economy, Electrolux, a global maker of household appliances, said on Friday that it would delay a planned $250 million investment to expand and modernize a factory in Tennessee.
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