European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said today that the EU was reaching out to countries such as Mexico, Canada and Japan to forge a united front against U.S. President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies.
“We are determined to do what has to be done, and we are also working with many other countries, because this is not only the EU against the U.S.,” Malmström said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “So we are reaching out to other countries in Mexico, Japan, Canada … we are doing trade agreements with a whole lot of countries creating this circle of friends who believe in … international rules.”
The EU last week announced it would impose retaliatory tariffs on up to €2.8 billion-worth of U.S. exports, ranging from peanut butter to motorboats. Canada, Mexico, Japan and India, among others, have said they will retaliate as well.
Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum risked isolating the U.S., Malmström suggested. “This is something that is considered by the rest of the world as not legitimate.”
The Swede also warned about potential risks to the world economy. “Europe is doing good. The U.S. is doing good as well, and that’s why we shouldn’t jeopardize this by entering into a trade war,” she said.
Europe and the U.S. have created the international rules and organizations governing trade, Malmström said, “and we want to work with the U.S. there.”
But if the U.S. started breaking those rules, she explained: “We have to take action.”