10:50 GMT +318 June 2018
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    U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photograph prior to a bilateral meeting on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017

    Merkel: Europe Must Respond to Unilateral Actions by US on Trade

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    In the trade dispute between the US and Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel still sees hope for discussion and dialogue, she told reporters in Berlin at a joint briefing with the leaders of the parties that will make part of Germany's future government.

    EU-US Trade Dispute

    Merkel stressed that Europe must be ready to respond to the US unilateral actions such as imposition of trade tariffs, but the focus should remain on talks.

    "If this unilateral action cannot be avoided, then we must think about how we can respond in a reciprocal fashion but I prioritize dialogue in the first place and there will be an opportunity for it," Merkel said.

    READ MORE: Business Association Questions Relations With US Amid New Steel Tariffs

    Merkel's statement comes after earlier this month, US President Donald Trump signed an order that imposes 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent duties on aluminum exports, the action which will go into effect in 15 days. However, the next day after the announcement, Washington opened the way to some exemptions due to the mounting pressure from allies.

    EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said 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 aluminum tariffs.

    On Monday, Trump said in a statement that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would speak with representatives of the European Union about the tariffs they impose on the United States.

    Germany's Contribution in EU

    Germany intends to contribute to the resolution of issues in the European Union's relations with the United States, Russia, China and other regions, chair of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) noted.

    READ MORE: EU Extends Anti-Russian Sanctions Over Ukrainian Territorial Integrity Breach

    "Germany will make its contribution to the resolution of both the issue of stabilizing our currency, the euro, and the issue of common efforts in the sphere of defense within NATO and European defense component, protection of our external borders and our foreign policy activity regarding the transatlantic alliance, as well as relations with Russia, China and other global regions," Merkel said.

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    Tags:
    tariffs, trade talks, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, United States, Germany
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