The US government’s 25% tariff on steel and aluminium produced in the EU, Canada and Mexico which went into effect of Friday is a ‘bridge too far,’ according to the Dutch employers lobby group VNO-NCW.
In an angry reaction to the import tax, the employers group said it would lead to ‘an escalation of the trade war.
‘No-one benefits from protectionism and extra import duties,’ said Hans de Boer, VNO-NCW chairman. ‘Therefore it is important that both the EU and the US keep cool heads.’
De Boer said Trump’s decision was damaging to the Dutch economy and particularly for Tata Steel Nederland in IJmuiden. Tata Steel exports more than €500m worth of steel to the US each year, representing 12.5% of total turnover.
The European Union should take measures to shield the European steel market from a flood of cheap imports seeking a new destination as the US imposes tariffs on steel, Tata said in its response to the new tariffs.
‘We should prevent a tsunami of cheap, low quality steel flooding the European market, now that it can’t make its way to the US,’, Tata Nederland director Theo Henrar told Reuters news agency.
The Dutch technological sector is ‘furious’ about the Trump tax which could result in an ‘economic scrapheap’, according to metal industry organization FME.
The import tax will have a very negative impact on Dutch industry, the association said. ‘Placing duties on steel imported from the Netherlands is absurd. Dutch steel is high quality steel otherwise unavailable in the US, the FME said.
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