US trade envoy Wilbur Ross says up to EU whether there is escalation on tariffs

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said a decision on import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium will be announced on May 31, 2018.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said a decision on import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium will be announced on May 31, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - Washington does not want a trade war with the European Union, but whether there is an escalation or not will depend on the EU, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview published by daily Le Figaro on Thursday (May 31).

A US decision on import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium will be announced on Thursday either before markets open or after markets close, he said.

"We don't want a trade war," Ross was quoted as saying.

"(It's) up to the European Union to decide if it wants to take retaliatory measures. The next question would be: how will the (US President Donald) Trump react? You saw his reaction when China decided to retaliate. If there is an escalation it will be because the EU would have decided to retaliate," he added.