European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said she’s still in the dark about whether the bloc will be let off the hook from planned U.S. tariffs after “frank” but ultimately fruitless talks with her American counterpart in Brussels on Saturday.
“As a close security and trade partner of the U.S., the EU must be excluded from the announced measures,” Malmstrom, the 28-nation bloc’s trade commissioner, said in a tweet after a meeting with the U.S.’s top trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer.
There was still “no immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure on exemption,” Malmstrom, the 28-nation bloc’s trade commissioner, said after the meeting that also included Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko. “As a close security and trade partner of the U.S. the EU must be excluded from the announced measures,” she said.
Saturday’s talks come after Canada, Mexico and Australia all secured an exemption from metal tariffs announced last week by U.S. President Donald Trump. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull heralded his nation’s exemption on Saturday morning following an early phone call with Trump, which he described as “a very good and productive discussion.”
Malmstrom, Lighthizer and Reko are set to meet again on the margins of the OECD ministerial meeting in Paris next week to further discuss the issue, according to a joint statement after the talks.