The United States is to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from EU countries, including Sweden. The decision, which US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced on Thursday, means that the US will levy a duty of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium from EU countries, Canada and Mexico.
Swedish European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström wrote in a statement: “Today is a bad day for world trade. We did everything to avoid this outcome.”
Sweden’s EU and Trade Minister Ann Linde says that she and her EU colleagues are seeing Donald Trump’s motto “America First” in action. “Like leaving the Paris Agreement, leaving the TPP trade agreement and leaving the nuclear deal with Iran,” she says. She adds, “Trump thinks this is good for the economy in the US, which we do not believe.”
The US is the Swedish steel industry’s second largest export market after Germany, says Mathias Ternell, trade policy director at the Swedish steel producers’ association, Jernkontoret. In the past, when the US imposed trade restrictions on steel, Swedish companies fared relatively well as their products have special qualities required by American industry. Mathias Ternell says that this could be the case again. For him, the indirect effects of the tariffs for global trade have a much worse impact.
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