May 1, 2018 / 7:43 AM / 5 months ago

Germany wants permanent U.S. tariffs exemption, deeper trade ties

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has taken note of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to postpone the imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs on the European Union and, in principle, still expects a permanent exemption, deputy government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said.

“Neither the European Union nor the United States can have an interest in an escalation (in tensions) in trade relations,” Fietz added in a statement. “Rather, both the U.S. and the EU would benefit from further deepening trade relations.”

“It is particularly important that the European Union has sought talks with the United States and will continue to do so.”

The White House said on Monday Trump had postponed the imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, the EU and Mexico until June 1, and reached agreements for permanent exemptions for Argentina, Australia and Brazil.

The president of Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Eric Schweitzer, said: “The extended respite offers the opportunity to defuse the trade conflict.

“The current situation shows that we need a fresh start for a comprehensive, transatlantic trade agreement,” he added in a statement.

On Monday, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said he saw little chance of reviving the stalled U.S.-European trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). “A new edition of TTIP is not realistic now,” he said.

Writing by Paul Carrel, Editing by Alison Williams, William Maclean

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