May 17, 2018 / 7:35 AM / 4 months ago

EU willing to discuss cutting trade barriers with U.S. - Merkel

SOFIA (Reuters) - The European Union is willing to discuss cutting trade barriers with the United States, but only in a reciprocal way and only if Washington does not impose import tariffs on EU metals, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel walk during the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium on grounds of national security, but granted EU producers a temporary exemption until June 1 pending the outcome of talks.

“We have a common position. We want a permanent exemption and then we are ready to talk how we can reciprocally reduce the barriers to trade,” Merkel told reporters before a summit of EU leaders in Bulgarian capital Sofia.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek

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