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Trump's tariffs jeopardise jobs and prosperity - Germany

Reuters  |  BERLIN 

By Michael Nienaber

BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. Donald Trump's tariffs on and aluminium imports will cost jobs and growth, German Economy told on Sunday, adding that and other free traders should not let themselves be divided.

Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on and 10 percent on aluminium, to come into force in 15 days, stoking fears of a tit-for-tat trade war that could drive up prices and depress growth around the globe.

The responded by saying it would ask the to impose its own measures, adding that it was still hopeful the 28-member bloc would be made exempt.

is the biggest exporter of to the United States, accounting for nearly 5 million tonnes out of total U.S. imports of about 35 million tonnes a year.

"Trump's policies are putting the order of a free global economy at risk," Zypries told in an emailed statement.

"He does not want to understand its architecture, which is based on a rule-based system of open markets. Anyone, who is questioning this, is jeopardising prosperity, growth and employment," Zypries said.

U.S. steel- and aluminum-consuming industries have also criticized the tariffs as damaging them with higher costs.

and its allies must now safeguard the free trade order and avoid being divided by Trump's offer to exempt some allies such as Mexico, and from the proposed tariffs, Zypries said.


"It is important for to show collectively that there can be countermeasures and that there won't be cracks of free traders," the said.

The and urged the on Saturday to grant them exemptions from the metal import tariffs, with calling for "calm-headed behaviour" in a dispute that threatens to spiral into a trade war.

Trump has threatened to hit Europe's with import tariffs if the EU retaliated in response to the

Such a move would be particularly hurtful for Germany, Europe's largest economy, since the U.S. is one of the biggest export destinations for German auto manufacturers and cars and vehicle parts are also its biggest source of export income.

told German newspaper am Sonntag that would continue to seek dialogue with and to be exempt from the tariffs.

"But if the new tariffs really hit Europe, we will take countermeasures," Vestager said.

Such measures could include tariffs on U.S. oranges, tobacco and bourbon. motorcycles have also been mentioned, targeting Republican Paul Ryan's home state of

"We have been building a global trading system for decades. European prosperity and millions of jobs depend on it - and Europe will not to stand idly by if someone puts the order of free world trade at risk," Vestager added.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Louise Heavens)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 18:33 IST