Berlin, July 25: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned US President Donald Trump to expect a firm response from the European Union (EU) to new protectionist measures.
Speaking during an appearance on the public broadcaster ARD, Maas on Tuesday said that he was still hopeful that the trade conflict could be resolved consensually. Nevertheless, Europe would not “allow itself to be threatened and would not simply surrender” if Trump chose to escalate the dispute further, Xinhua reported.
The German foreign minister argued that Washington would leave Brussels with no other choice than to retaliate against a raft of new US tariffs. Otherwise, the credibility of the bloc and the wider system of rules-based free trade would suffer lasting damage.
Maas emphasized that it was crucial for Europe as a whole, but Germany and France in particular, to speak with one voice on trade in order to be heard on a global level. Member states which became divided on the issue would be at the mercy of greater non-European powers without having any effective say over their own future.
According to the German Social Democrat (SPD), no one could be seriously interested in the imposition of new and higher import tariffs as threatened again recently by the US. (IANS)