May 2, 2018 / 3:04 PM / in a year

Merkel: Europe must get long-term exemption from U.S. tariffs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement to the media after her talks with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday Europe must get a long-term exemption from U.S. tariffs on metal imports and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom should therefore get a clear mandate from member states for her negotiations.

“Of course, we think it’s important that there are exemptions (from the U.S. tariffs) not only for a limited period of time,” Merkel said during a joint news conference with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in Berlin.

Asked whether there was a rift between Germany and France on how to respond to the U.S. trade threat, Merkel said: “So far, we have had a very united stance, namely that we view these tariff demands as unjustified and that we want a long-term exemption.”

She added that talks between European trade ministers would continue in order to provide Malmstrom with a clear mandate for her negotiations with the U.S. administration.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin

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