March 12, 2018 / 1:33 PM / 9 days ago

EU's Timmermans says Trump countermeasures to conform to WTO rules

DILLINGEN, Germany, March 12 (Reuters) - Europe does not understand the logic of proposed U.S. steel tariffs on the basis of national security concerns, but will prepare retaliatory measures if necessary, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said on Monday.

Last week, United States President Donald Trump pressed ahead with import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminium, declaring metals production to be a matter of national security.

“If he says the reason for these measures is security, then we say there is no reason to impose these tariffs on us. How is European steel a threat to the U.S.,” Timmermans said at a steel conference held in Dillingen, Germany.

“If it becomes necessary, we will prepare countermeasures, but these will be conform to World Trade Organisation rules,” Timmermans said. (Reporting by Edward Taylor Editing by Arno Schuetze)

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