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US going ahead with steel, aluminum tariffs

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Posted at 10:10 AM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 06:12:29-04

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on trade tensions between the United States and the European Union (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

The Trump administration is announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. The move is sure to raise worries of a trade war with American allies.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says there will be a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

President Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March but the U.S. granted exemptions to the E.U., Canada, Mexico and other U.S. allies.

Ross says talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement are "taking longer than we had hoped." He says negotiations with Europe have "made some progress" but not enough to merit an exemption.

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8:40 a.m.

The foreign ministers of Germany and China are stressing the importance of global free trade - a plea that comes before the United States is expected to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says "protectionism and isolation against free trade mustn't regain the upper hand."

And China's Wang Yi says China will continue to open its markets for its trade partners.

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8:35 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the European Union "will respond in an intelligent, decisive and joint way" if the United States imposes tariffs on imported European steel and aluminum.

Merkel says the 28-nation bloc has made plain to Washington its view that the planned tariffs are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.

She's not giving details of how the EU might respond.

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4:40 a.m.

France's finance minister says the U.S. shouldn't see global trade like the Wild West or the "gunfight at the OK Corral."

Bruno Le Maire calls looming U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum "unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous."

Ahead of a meeting Thursday in Paris with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Le Maire says: "Global trade is not a 'gunfight at the OK Corral.' It's not about who attacks whom, and then wait and see who is still standing at the end."

He says a trade war would hurt growth everywhere.

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