US having ‘fruitful’ talks with EU on steel, says official

After White House delayed steel and aluminium tariffs on EU and other allies by 30 days much to their relief, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday that Washington and Brussels are holding fruitful talks on “a whole lot of topics” to reduce trade tensions between them. Although Ross did not elaborate, Washington seems to be seeking broader concessions including on US auto exports. US hopes good results will emerge from the talks and it will not create market uncertainty in Europe by further extending tariff exemptions, Ross said. The EU wants to be fully and permanently exempted from punitive measures as they cannot be justified on the grounds of US national security. Like EU, China too has threatened to retaliate against the metal tariffs and punitive duties Trump has announced for $50 billion in Chinese goods. Ross is set to travel to China later on Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House economic adviser Peter Navarro to try to reach a compromise with Beijing to avert trade war.