EU, Japan seek to be excluded from United States tariffs in talks

"We need a dialogue with the United States".

U.S. President Donald Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum but exempted Canada and Mexico and offered the possibility of excluding other allies, backtracking from an earlier stance.

At the meeting in Brussels, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko discussed the tariffs as part of a trilateral effort to combat unfair trade practices.

"We call for calm-headed behaviour", Seko said.

Trump is opening up one-on-one trade talks with countries on the new tariffs, to see if he can win concessions for the U.S. "The exact nature of the (EU) steps will be decided after a close analysis of the American measures."Separately, Germany's transatlantic coordinator, Juergen Hardt, told Reuters the USA government should have exempted its European allies from punitive tariffs imposed against steel and aluminium imports that were primarily aimed at China".

"This is not a trade negotiation", Katainen said.

Key U.S. trading partners and businesses have warned the tariffs could backfire, provoking a trade war and hurting allies like the European Union and Japan more than China, their main target. "Now we are talking about unilateral action against global rules, and we want to sort it out before it really becomes a problem".

Japan's trade minister sought an exemption from USA import tariffs on steel and aluminium on Saturday and called for "calm-headed behaviour" in a dispute that threatens to spiral into a trade war.

"As a close security and trade partner of the US, the European Union must be excluded from the announced measures", Malmstrom, the 28-nation bloc's trade commissioner, said in a tweet after a meeting with the U.S.'s top trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer.

Brussels has already drawn up a hitlist of flagship American products to target for countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs including peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and orange juice.

European steel and aluminium associations have warned that the US tariffs could cost their sectors thousands of jobs.

Japan, he said, would stick to World Trade Organization rules in terms of taking measures.

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