EU leaders have a "weapon on the head" because of looming US tariffs on steel imports, warned the head of the trading organization UK Steel.
Gareth Stace said the EU must take precautions to contain Chinese steel Once destined for the US, now traveling to Europe.
The EU has already announced that it will levy on US products like motorcycles and jeans tariffs.
The 25% US tariffs will come into force on Friday morning in the UK.
Steel producers in the EU were temporarily exempted from tariffs while the US tried to persuade the EU to reduce steel production or make other concessions. However, reports indicate that last-minute talks in Paris have failed with Wilbur Ross, the US Secretary of Commerce, who indicated that he was ready to impose the tariffs.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said US tariffs on European metals are unjustified and dangerous.
"It is up to the US authorities to decide whether to enter into a trade dispute with their largest partner, Europe," he said after meeting Ross in Paris.
The EU would take "all necessary action" to respond if the US imposed tariffs, Le Maire warned.
Stace said US tariffs are "purely protectionist".
"What President Trump is proposing here is not free trade and against WTO rules," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today program
since he announced he would introduce these three-pronged, arbitrary tariffs on steel imports For almost three months, we hoped for the best, but we feared the worst ̵
Mr. Stace acknowledges that there is a problem of global overcapacity in the steel industry, but most of it is in China.
Around 20 million tons of Chinese steel would have to "find a new home, and since we are a free and open market here in the UK / EU, we will come here, we believe, and therefore further damage to our sector, not only because of the direct impact of US tariffs, but also because of the increase Steel prices, "he said.
EU leaders have stated that they will not negotiate with the US on trade as long as the customs problem remains unresolved or, as French President Macron has put it, a weapon
"They ended up holding a gun to their heads – they are … pushed into a corner," said Mr. Stace.
"What we could see is harm not only to the UK economy but also to the US economy if we do not get another extension … or indeed, President Trump sees meaning and understands that there are no winners here
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said she doubted that Europe could avoid some kind of restriction, be it tariffs or export restrictions.
During a round table discussion at an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris on Wednesday, Mr Ross said the negotiations could continue with current tariffs.
If the tariffs come into force, the US would impose a 25% tax on European steel and 10% on European Union aluminum.
The EU is the second largest steel producer in the world after China. An estimated 320,000 people work in the steel industry throughout the region.
How did it start?
The Trump government announced tariffs in March, citing the need to protect US steel and aluminum producers for national security reasons. 19659007] Certain countries, including the EU, were exempted until negotiations on trading conditions were conducted.
The US has granted some countries, such as South Korea, more permanent exemptions from customs duties in exchange for export restrictions. 19659007] When the White House announced the measures, the EU threatened to tariff on American imports such as orange juice, cranberries and bourbon.
China has already raised $ 3 billion in new taxes on US dollars, including wine, in retaliation for steel and aluminum tariffs.