Italy’s outgoing Premier Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday slammed the “unjustified” steel and aluminium tariffs to be imposed by the US on Europe, Canada and Mexico at midnight.
“The introduction of US steel and aluminium tariffs is worrying. This an unjustified decision.
“Protectionism does not safeguard the interests of businesses and workers. Europe’s response will be united and proportionate,” he said in a series of tweets.
The administration of US President Donald Trump said a 25 percent tax on steel and 10 percent tax on aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada will start on 1 June when temporary exemptions expire.
The move immediately triggered vows of retaliation from Mexico and the EU, which called the tariffs “protectionism, pure and simple”.
The 28-member bloc has “no choice” but to bring a case before the World Trade Organisation and impose duties on US imports, Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said, calling the tariffs “totally unacceptable”.
Trump announced plans for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium in March, justifying them on national security grounds. Global oversupply of steel and aluminium, driven by China, threatens vital US producers, he claimed.