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