Mr Trump today announced 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, with the aim of protecting the US industry.
The US President said: “We’re going to build our steel industry back and our aluminum industry back.”
But the move infuriated the EU and amid fears of starting a trade war with China.
The EU said it would react firmly with a proposal within days for WTO-compatible countermeasures against the US for trade restrictions on steel and aluminum, which it called a “blatant intervention” to protect US industry.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement: “We strongly regret this step, which appears to represent a blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry and not to be based on any national security justification,”
“We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk … The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.”
Cecilia Malmström, EU trade chief said: “These US measures will have a negative impact on transatlantic relations and on global markets. The Commission will monitor market developments and if necessary will propose WTO-compatible safeguard action to preserve the stability of the EU market.”
Matthias Machnig, German deputy economy minister said EU trade ministers agreed they would retaliate with counter-measures if the US did impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.
He said there was unanimous agreement that the European Commission and member countries “need to take appropriate precautions”.
Mr Machnig said big European countries like Germany, France, Italy, Spain and several more backed the European Commission.
Senator Pat Roberts, who chairs the chamber’s agriculture committee discussing the matter, said: “Every time you do this, you get a retaliation.”
Following Mr Trump’s statement, AK Steel Holding was up almost 12 percent, U.S. Steel Corp was up 8 percent and Nucor rose 3.6 percent.
The Trump administration said this move would protect US industry, but critics have said it will raise costs and fail to deliver on a campaign pledge to boost domestic jobs.