BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe’s proposals to open its markets wider to U.S. products including cars appear not to have persuaded Washington to lift the threat of import tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, the bloc’s trade chief said on Tuesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump has set tariffs of 25 percent on incoming steel and 10 percent on aluminum on grounds of national security but has granted EU producers an exemption until June 1 pending the outcome of talks.
EU leaders last week agreed on four areas the bloc would be willing to discuss, including easier access for industrial products, but only on condition that the exemption is made permanent.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom spoke with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross after the proposals were made public, but said Washington did not seem satisfied.
“I think they don’t think it is enough,” she told reporters before a meeting of EU ministers to discuss trade.
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn seemed equally gloomy about prospects.
“I think that on June 1 we will have another deadlock,” he said. “Perhaps we will take a step forward in terms of what we can offer the Americans. It could be that we move towards quotas. Everything is open, but it’s difficult.”