May 31, 2018 / 3:12 PM / 9 months ago

Trump's "muscle-flexing" with allies will cost US consumer, France says

FILE PHOTO: French Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne leaves the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. trade tariffs on European metals exports are unjustified and will be met with a proportionate and calibrated EU response, the French government said on Thursday.

“Today, France and the EU disapprove, of course, these measures. We are getting ready to put in place safeguards, rebalancing measures because we won’t let unjustifiable and unjustified measures go unanswered,” ,” France’s junior trade minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told reporters.

“I’m happy that, in this moment of truth, the EU is united.”

The United States said earlier it would impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU, ending months of uncertainty about potential exemptions and reigniting fears of a global trade war.

“While some leaders are enjoying themselves with measures that amount to muscle-flexing and are pointing fingers at allies, what will happen in real life? These tariffs will increase the cost of products,” the French minister said.

“And in the end who will pay the bill? The consumer, the American consumer,” Lemoyne added.

“Today, in terms of trade, we’re dancing by the edge of the cliff. It takes a lot of self-control to show the U.S. they are completely wrong,” he said.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by John Irish

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