02:20 GMT +322 April 2018
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    EU Competition Commissioner Says Response to New US Tariffs Possible

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union needs a dialogue with the United States, however, Brussels will respond if the country's new tariffs on imported steel and aluminium affect the bloc, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

    On Thursday, US President Donald Trump signed an order that imposes 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent duties on aluminium exports which will go into effect in 15 days.

    "First of all, we need a dialogue with the United States. But if the new tariffs really affect Europe, we will take countermeasures… Europe will not stand idle if someone unilaterally endangers the international trade," Vestager said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

    Vestager noted that the international trade system was being built for decades, and that millions of workers depend on its prosperity, according to the newspaper.

    The European Union harshly criticized Trump's move. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned earlier that, if implemented, the US tariffs could lead to a trade war that would have grave macroeconomic consequences. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom also stated the European Union would consider new tariffs on multiple US products, including peanut butter, if Trump followed through on his pledge to impose steel and aluminium tariffs.

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