BERLIN, April 26 German Economy Minister
Brigitte Zypries had a "very constructive" phone discussion with
her U.S. counterpart, Wilbur Ross, about steel and tariffs, a
ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
The upbeat comments came shortly after Zypries said Berlin
was getting signals from Washington that the new U.S.
administration would not impose a disputed duty on imports.
U.S. proposals presented on Tuesday to revamp the tax system
did not include a so-called border-adjustment tax on imports, a
massive relief for German exporters.
"The telephone conversation of Minister Zypries and her
colleague Wilbur Ross was very constructive," the economy
ministry spokeswoman said, adding both exchanged their views on
how to cooperate closely and trustingly on economic issues.
"The topics steel, tariffs, G20 and China were also raised
during the telephone conversation," the spokeswoman said. Both
minister agreed to extend their discussion when Zypries travels
to the U.S. next month.
Relations between Germany and the United States were
strained after President Donald Trump threatened German
carmakers with a import tariff of up to 35 percent, arguing that
would bring back manufacturing jobs onto American soil.
The U.S. Department of Commerce last month issued a final
finding that European and Asian producers dumped certain carbon
and alloy steel cut-to-length plate in the U.S. market, allowing
it to impose duties ranging from 3.62 percent to 148 percent.
Among those affected are German, Austrian, Belgian, French
and Italian companies. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
has urged the European Union to consider filing a complaint with
the World Trade Organisation against the United States over the
steel plate row.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Larry King)