March 23, 2018 / 1:06 PM / 9 months ago

Allies should not face 'artificial' deadline on U.S. tariffs: EU trade chief

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom addresses the European Parliament during a debate on the US decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium in Strasbourg, France March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s trade chief described U.S. metal import tariffs imposed on Friday as “highly unfortunate” and said allies given a temporary exemption should not be faced with “artificial” deadlines.

U.S. President Donald Trump granted the European Union an exemption until May 1 on steel duties of 25 percent and aluminum of 10 percent.

“The import tariffs on steel and aluminum put in place by the U.S. are a highly unfortunate unilateral action, which goes against agreed international rules,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a tweet on Friday.

“We now look forward to pursuing a dialogue with the U.S. on trade issues of common concern, such as global steel overcapacity. These discussions between allies and partners should not be subject to artificial deadlines,” she continued.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

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