A top trade official in the European Union warned the White House on Thursday that it has an “arsenal” of measures at its disposal to fight back against President Trump ‘s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Reuters reports that European Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told BFM TV on Thursday that the European trading bloc is planning a response to the tariffs that it still hopes Trump will back down from imposing.
“If Donald Trump puts in place the measures this evening, we have a whole arsenal at our disposal with which to respond,” Moscovici said referring to reports that Trump could take action on the tariffs Thursday.
“We must accept that the world becomes a place of each man for himself,” he added.
Moscovici went on to add that EU officials could target American products primarily manufactured in Republican-held districts in order to drive home the point to the GOP-held Congress that tariffs would be a bad idea.
“We want Congress to understand that this would be a lose-lose situation,” he said.
Trump has largely dismissed criticism from top Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on his trade stances, and on Sunday tweeted that a global trade war sparked by his plan to raise tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports would be “easy” for the U.S. to win.
“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade any-we win big. It’s easy!” the president tweeted.
Republicans, however, have largely denounced the proposals and threatened action in Congress to stop the president’s plan.
“There is a series of legislative actions that could be taken to reverse the decision, obviously with the president supporting them they would have to be done in a way that would overcome any action that he would take, but we still have time,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said this week.
European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said Thursday that he is hoping that the Trump administration will grant the EU an exemption from the stiff tariffs.