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French economic official: Europe will have ‘appropriate response’ to Trump tariffs

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French economic official: Europe will have 'appropriate response' to Trump tariffs

European officials on Thursday expressed disappointment with President Trump ’s decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, and vowed an “appropriate response.”

“France regrets announcements of @realDonaldTrump on steel & aluminum tariffs. There are only losers in trade war,” French economy minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted.

“With our EU partners, we will assess consequences on our industries and agree appropriate response,” he added.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s commissioner on trade policy, said she will seek clarity on the issue in the coming days, but believes members of the EU should be exempt from the tariffs.

“The EU is a close ally of the US and we continue to be of the view that the EU should be excluded from these measures,” she tweeted. 

Trump on Thursday afternoon signed paperwork enacting tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, despite warnings from Republicans, Democrats and international leaders that such a move could have unintended consequences. The tariffs carved out an exception for Canada and Mexico, and allow other nations to argue for similar exceptions.

Trump brushed off the warnings about the tariffs, saying trade wars are “good and easy to win.”

Several European officials had expressed concern prior to Trump’s announcement and said they could respond with tariffs on U.S. goods like bourbon, peanut butter and orange juice. 

“This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this,” EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said late last week. “But we have to do it. … We can also do stupid.”

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