Anne-Mari Virolainen (NCP), the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, has expressed her regret at the sweeping steel and aluminium tariffs announced by US President Donald Trump.
“The EU is currently weighing up the situation carefully when it comes to the decision by President Trump,” says Virolainen. “Finland is concerned about the possible effects on the jobs and competitiveness of businesses in both Europe and the United States.”
Trump on Thursday signed an order to impose tariffs of 10 and 25 per cent on steel and aluminium imports respectively from all countries except for Canada and Mexico. The tariffs are to enter into force on 23 March.
Virolainen reminds that countries are able to request an exemption from the tariffs and draws attention to the importance of dialogue between the United States and European Union. The EU, she adds, is not only the largest trade and investment partner of the US, but also an important ally on security-related matters.
Trump has trumpeted the tariffs as a means to defend the national security of the US.
“We view that steel or aluminium imported from EU countries poses no threat to the national security of the United States,” comments Virolainen. “These measures additionally won’t solve the overcapacity problem, which we must continue to work on in international forums regardless of the actions of the United States.”
The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) has urged all stakeholders to avoid a trade war with President Trump.
“The Finnish economy returned onto the growth path last year especially as a result of exports picking up. A cycle of trade political counter-measures could pose a serious threat to the growth outlook for Finnish exports,” Jyri Häkämies, the CEO of EK, says in a press release.
The EU, he adds, should instead stand up for free trade by pursuing ambitious free trade agreements with other countries.
Aleksi Teivainen- HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi