February 20, 2018 / 11:39 AM / 9 months ago

EU warns it will retaliate if hit by U.S. trade curbs

FILE PHOTO: Steel rolls are pictured in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony on March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it had expressed its concern to Washington about possible measures to curb imports of steel and aluminum and warned that it was ready to react if its industry was hit.

“We have made it clear to the U.S. administration at the highest level that we would be deeply concerned about measures that affect the EU industry,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference.

“We would be taking appropriate measures to defend EU industry and we stand ready to react swiftly and appropriately in case our exports are affected by any restrictive measures by the United States,” he continued before adding: “No, we are not in a trade war.”

The U.S. Commerce Department has recommended that President Donald Trump impose steep curbs on steel and aluminum imports from China and other countries ranging from global and country-specific tariffs to broad import quotas, according to proposals released on Friday.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Alissa de Carbonnel

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