June 1, 2018 / 8:06 PM / 10 months ago

Direct impact of U.S. tariffs on EU 'limited' - ECB's Weidmann

(L-R) President of the German Federal Bank Jens Weidmann, Germany's Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz and Japan's Minster of Finance Taro Aso arrive at the welcome reception dinner during the G7 Finance Ministers Summit in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

WHISTLER, British Columbia (Reuters) - U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from the European Union are likely to have only a limited direct impact on the EU economy, but risk hurting business and consumer confidence, European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann said on Friday.

Weidmann, head of Germany’s Bundesbank, told German broadcaster ZDF on the sidelines of a G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Canada that fears of escalating trade tensions between the United States and the rest of the world were a key risk.

“The direct impact of the U.S. decision is in my view limited,” he said. “We are speaking of 0.04 percent of the GDP of the EU. But the possibility of a further escalation of the conflict could damage the confidence of consumers and business.”

Reporting by Gernot Heller; writing by Jan Strupczewski and David Milliken; Editing by Leslie Adler

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