September 18, 2018 / 10:44 AM / a month ago

New U.S. tariffs on China are unfortunate: EU trade chief

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - New U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports represent an unfortunate escalation of global trade tensions and are the wrong method to force Beijing to reform, the European Union’s trade chief said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom attends an interview with Reuters in Geneva, Switzerland June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Monday the imposition of 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of imports from China, prompting Beijing to say it had no choice but to retaliate.

“Trade wars are not good and they are not easy to win, and this escalation is of course very unfortunate,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told a news conference.

“We agree with some of the criticism that the U.S. has voiced vis-a-vis China on some of their policies, and we are trying to address some of it via the WTO. But we disagree with the methods that the U.S. is using to try to get China to adopt using tariffs.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Daphne Psaledakis

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