Brussels: International movements have gained momentum after the US President issued the trade restrictions ordinance. Senior trade representatives from the EU and Japan met their counterparts of the United States trade department for discussions. This meeting is considered important in view of the fact that the sources had indicated that the US allies may be provided certain concessions. China and South Korea have taken an aggressive stand against the US ordinance and even the ‘ASEAN’ countries have expressed displeasure.
The EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom and the Japanese Minister for Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko met with the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer in Brussels on Saturday. Related officials have informed that the tariffs imposed by the US, its effects and bilateral trade cooperation were discussed in the meeting. The EU and Japan reportedly requested clarification regarding the position of the US allies and the partner countries with respect to the ordinance.
The US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer also held independent meetings with the EU Trade Commissioner and the Japanese Minister. It is revealed that the EU Trade Commissioner and the Japanese Minister had also met independently prior to this, to discuss their joint stand. The US has not given any reaction to this.
Although the EU and Japan have taken a stand for discussions, they previously had an aggressive tone against the US restrictions. The EU had warned of an equal reply for this action and had threatened to impose a tax of 25% on the US products. Whereas, Japan had warned that this could adversely affect the bilateral ties. Against the backdrop of the EU and Japan discussions with the US, other countries appear to have taken an aggressive stand to act against the US.
China has reiterated its position of opposing the US restrictions and has started preparations to retaliate. South Korea has warned of filing a petition in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The ‘ASEAN’ countries in South-East Asia have expressed displeasure about the decision and have expressed concern that it could cause an impact on them. The ‘ASEAN’ experts have expressed fear that the main exporters will start ‘dumping’ the goods in the South-Eastern markets should the exports to the US decline.