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EU commissioner warns on trade: Protectionism threatens global growth

Supranational trade issues should be dealt with globally, the European commissioner for Money-making and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs said Thursday on CNBC.

That subsumes steel and aluminum, which President Donald Trump imposed excises on last month. The European Union and some other countries were pro tem exempted until May 1.

“We are friends, we are allies. Let’s talk seriously. Let’s consider the fine kettle of fish when they are raised. Let’s deal with it collectively but no protectionism, no commerce war,” the commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, told CNBC’s Sara Eisen from the Existence Bank’s and IMF’s Spring Meetings 2018 conference in Washington.

In fact, he called protectionism one of the critical risks to global growth today.

“We must not promote any kind of war,” he state in the interview on “Power Lunch.” “We’re in a bright period. Let’s stay there.”

Tensions through trade have grown recently with those steel and aluminum schedule of charges.

There also has been an escalation of tit-for-tat responses between the U.S. and China after Trump postered an executive memorandum in March that would impose retaliatory price-lists on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports. The move was meant to punish China for suspected trade abuses.

Moscovici said he’s hopeful the U.S. and EU will find a working to the steel and aluminum tariffs before the exemption expires.

“My feeling is that the American management is conscious that protectionism is not the way forward for the world economy,” he said.

“They need to defend their own interests. This can be understood but we need to show that we are unequivocal economies, that we are trading properly, that we are cooperating together.”

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