The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of trying to mollify the US president amid an ongoing dispute over US trade levies.
Corbyn has also slammed what he described as the Tory government’s “timid response” to Washington’s move and its being “too weak to stand up to the powerful.”
This harsh criticism comes less than a week before Theresa May and Donald Trump are scheduled to meet at the G7 summit in Canada at a time when Trump’s decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on European steel and a 10 percent levy on European aluminum has pushed the US and the EU to the brink of an all-out trade war.
Concerned by Washington’s move, Brussels has brought the matter before the World Trade Organization and has threatened retaliation.
Theresa May has criticized Trump's decision as “unjustified” and will work with the EU to seek exemptions from the US tariffs.
“I am deeply disappointed at the unjustified decision by the US to apply tariffs to EU steel and aluminum imports,” May was quoted by the Independent as saying during a 30-minute telephone linkup with Trump.
“The US, EU and UK are close allies and have always promoted values of open and fair trade across the world. Our steel and aluminum industries are hugely important to the UK, but they also contribute to US industry including in defense projects which bolster US national security,” she added.
President Trump’s decision to impose steep tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports is widely seen as a serious blow to hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal between London and Washington with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox describing the move as “patently absurd,” the newspaper wrote.
The EU, Mexico and Canada have all set out plans for retaliatory tariffs on US goods.
The European Union has responded to the US move with its own list of tariffs on American goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to bourbon.
Canada plans to impose a 25 percent levy on about $13 billion worth of US exports starting July 1.