EU must not escalate US tariffs dispute - Polish minister

The European Union must act together but remain careful not to escalate its dispute with the United States over Washington's new steel and aluminium tariffs, according to Konrad Szymanski, the Polish minister for European affairs.

On March 8, US President Donald Trump signed a regulation introducing import tariffs on steel (25 percent) and aluminium (10 percent), with an exemption for Canadian and Mexican products until the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations are concluded.

The US tariffs are to come into force on Friday.

EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said last week that the EU was going to defend its employees and industry while respecting the World Trade Organisation's rules.

"We would like the EU to act together in this case. It is a prerequisite of success. We would like the EU to underscore the importance of international trade, also in the context of this dispute with the United States," the Polish minister told reporters on Tuesday.

The EU should defend its trade interests, which are also important for Poland, but in a way that does not "escalate the trade dispute". "The consequences of such an escalation would only be negative for both sides," Szymanski said.