Tuesday, 29 May 2018 10:00

EU’s trade chief to make last-ditch bid to secure steel tariff waiver

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BRUSSELS—The European Union’s top trade official will meet U.S. counterparts in Paris on Wednesday, according to EU officials, in a last-ditch effort to secure waivers from steel and aluminum tariffs and to engage Washington on efforts to tackle China’s market-distorting policies.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will press U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for exemptions just ahead of a Friday deadline, when President Donald Trump’s temporary waivers to the 28-member bloc[1] expire.

Malmstrom will also meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday to discuss the global trade agenda, and the two officials will join their Japanese counterpart, Hiroshige Seko, Thursday to advance a joint push targeting unfair practices.

The crunch meetings, following months of uncertainty, will take place on the sidelines of a ministerial gathering of the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development in Paris. The OECD discussions will focus on the “state and outlook for multilateralism,” just as Trump enacts his “America First” policies to the chagrin of U.S. allies led by the EU.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com[2]

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