May 1, 2018 / 11:04 AM / a year ago

France says ready to discuss metals overcapacity with U.S. once exempted from tariff hikes

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump flicks a bit of dandruff off his jacket during their meeting in the Oval Office following the official arrival ceremony for Macron at the White House in Washington, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Tuesday it agreed that there was an overcapacity problem in steel and aluminum, but it could only discuss the matter with the United States when it was assured that the EU would be permanently excluded from unilateral tariff rises.

“We agree that there is a problem of overcapacity in steel and aluminum. We are ready to work with the USA and other partners to deal with those issues, and to develop fast and appropriate solutions,” a joint statement from the finance and foreign ministries said after the United States delayed a decision on imposing tariffs until June 1.

“But we can only do so serenely when we are certain that we will be excluded from a unilateral increase in tariffs on a permanent basis.” 

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Alison Williams

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