May 30, 2018 / 2:04 PM / 22 days ago

EU, U.S. trade envoys meet on tariffs, outcome unclear

PARIS (Reuters) - European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met in Paris on Wednesday to discuss looming U.S. import tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, the European Commission said, but declined to speculate on the final outcome.

FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on incoming steel and 10 percent on aluminum, but granted the European Union a temporary exemption, which expires on Friday.

The Commission said Malmstrom and Ross had met to discuss the impending exemption expiry.

“We will not speculate on what the final decision from the U.S. side will be. It is now up to the President of the United States to take that decision,” a Commission spokesman said.

Malmstrom told the European Parliament on Tuesday that she hoped to secure a permanent exemption, with no tariffs or quotas, but that this was probably an unrealistic hope.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek

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