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EU appeals to Trump: 'make trade, not war'

AP  |  Brussels 

urged US today not to undermine the sides' longstanding trans-Atlantic ties by seeking economic gains through punishing trade tariffs.

"Let me be clear: instead of risking a trade war, which he seems eager to wage, we should be aiming for greater cooperation," Tusk told reporters in Helsinki,

EU told the EU parliament that while the 28-nation bloc would continue to seek an exemption from the US tariffs on imported and aluminum that could kick in next week, it will prepare countermeasures to hit US goods.

Trump has said that the tariffs are necessary on national security grounds, but Malmstrom insisted this is a ruse: "We suspect that the US move is effectively not based on security considerations but an economic safeguard measure in disguise."

Mistrust between the long-time allies has increased since Trump became last year, and the US tariffs proposal has acerbated ill feelings.

Tusk said it was not too late to turn this around and asked Trump to come through on his promise to exempt "real friends" from the tariffs.

Harking back to two world wars and the Cold War, Tusk said: "I would like to stress today that the free world has survived the most difficult decades only thanks to the fact that Europeans and Americans have been real friends." "So let us cherish this friendship, not challenge it," Tusk said.

And, he added, instead of threatening a trade war, Trump should restart the trans-Atlantic free trade negotiations between the U.S. and the EU which began under former but were never finished.

"We should go back to these talks now. Make trade, not war, President," Tusk said.

The trans-Atlantic rift over Trump's tariffs was evident in the EU legislature in Strasbourg, France, where parties of just about all persuasions lined up to criticize the US plans.

The EU says the best way forward would be for the U.S. to cooperate in trying to reduce a glut of and aluminum on international markets, which experts says is largely due to China's overproduction in recent years.

"That is what makes the sound bites of the current so disturbing," said of the parliament's ALDE liberal group.

"Right at the time we need to work together as the liberal democracies of this world to curb unfair trade practices of and others, we are divided.

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

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 19:50 IST