"This trade war is slowing down and destroying economic growth and produces new uncertainties," Altmaier told the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
The minister stressed that consumers are those whom trade wars usually affect the most, as products become increasingly expensive.
"The agreement between the EU and the US can only be a first step, and in the end we need world trade with lower tariffs, less protectionism and open markets," he pointed out, referring to an agreement between EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald Trump to negotiate tariff reductions and work towards zero tariffs.
Speaking further on the trade deal, Altmaier noted that the US-EU agreement had secured hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany and Europe, warning that there were no winners in trade wars.
"We hit the curve just a few meters from the edge. There are no winners in a global trade war, only losers. Politicians have no right to jeopardize the jobs of steel smelters, car makers and aluminum smelters," he said.
EU-US trade relations have been tense since Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The European Union had initially sought to be exempted from the trade restrictions, but, when Washington refused to do so, introduced its own duties on US goods.