By Dominique Patton
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Europe is concerned about collateral damage it may suffer from America's escalating trade spat with China, an EU official said as he criticised Washington for breaking a years-long push to force Beijing to cut steel and aluminium exports.
The administration has since granted temporary exemptions to some countries as well as the European Union, but the bloc has demanded a permanent reprieve.
Speaking on the sidelines of a food trade show, Phil Hogan, the European Union agriculture commissioner, urged Washington to continue to work with the bloc to deal with prolonged trade issues with China.
"I think the (U.S.) tactics (....) could unnecessarily escalate the trade dispute on steel and aluminium into other areas, which is a source of concern for the European Union," Hogan told Reuters.
Hogan outlined his concerns in a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary for Agriculture Ted McKinney this week in Shanghai, he told a media briefing, as the world's top two economies were set to hold a second round of high-level trade talks.
U.S. President Donald Trump's top trade and economic officials are preparing to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Washington to discuss concerns ranging from intellectual property protection to farm goods and steel capacity.
In meetings with senior Chinese government officials this week, Hogan also urged Beijing to continue to give access to the EU region's beef, following its approval of Irish imports, and sought clarification on the nation's proposed food safety certificates.
European and U.S. governments have worried that proposed rules requiring health certificates for all food imports, even if the products are deemed low-risk, would hamper billions of dollars of trade with the world's second-largest economy.
The rules were due to take effect in October last year, but Beijing agreed to a two-year postponement to allow companies more time to comply.
(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Clarence Fernandez & Kim Coghill)
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