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German economic minister on tariffs: ‘The situation is serious’

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German economic minister on tariffs: ‘The situation is serious’

Germany’s economy minister on Wednesday expressed concern about President Trump ’s proposed tariffs sparking a trade war, saying “the situation is serious.”

Brigitte Zypries said Europe wants to avoid a trade war, but added that the European Union will be “ready to act appropriately” in response to U.S. tariffs, The Associated Press reported. 

“Trade creates wealth, when it is based on exchange and cooperation,” Zypries said in a statement.

“Advocates for this in the U.S. administration are very important. Therefore the current signals from the U.S. make me worried,” she continued.

Trump last week announced a plan to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports.

The move has drawn criticism from U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as international officials, who have expressed concerns it will start a trade war and ultimately hurt American workers.

Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, resigned Tuesday amid a dispute over the direction of U.S. trade policy. Cohn was a vocal opponent of the proposed tariffs.

Trump has brushed off such concerns, saying trade wars are “good & easy to win” and that “trade wars aren’t so bad” when the U.S. is facing a trade deficit.

The European Commission has eyed tariffs in response that target $3.5 billion worth of America goods, including Levi-Strauss blue jeans, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, orange juice and bourbon whiskey.

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