“First of all, we are very disappointed, because the intensive talks between the European Commission and the United States, and efforts by other European countries to persuade them not to apply these measures against the EU failed,” Deputy Foreign Minister Albinas Zananavičius told BNS by phone from Paris on Thursday.
A 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico will take effect on Friday.
EU capitals expressed their outrage and disappointment over the US decision and the European Commission announced it was planning retaliation.
According to Zananavičius, the US solution is in line with recent protectionist trends, but “the EU’s aim is to keep global trade free”.
“Obviously, we are entering a completely new stage where we are subjected to measures on the basis of US national security. We can’t see how the EU can threaten US national security,” the official said.
“The EU is definitely not a problem here, because we don’t have surplus steel and aluminum production,” he added.
According to the vice-minister, the EU’s response to Washington will be based on international trade rules and, therefore, these processes should not be called a trade war.
“Under international trade rules, the EU has the right to impose compensatory, counter-balancing retaliatory measures,” he said.
In the official’s words, the US tariffs will not directly affect Lithuanian businesses.
Steel and aluminum are used in various industries, including car manufacturing, and road and railway construction.