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India seeks to join China in dispute over U.S. tariff hikes

India seeks to join China in dispute over U.S. tariff hikes

To address this situation, the U.S. imposed a 25% tariff on certain steel articles with effect from 23 March. The duties were increased by 25 percent for some steel products, and 10 percent for aluminum products.

Also this week, India requested consultations with the United States over the steel and aluminium tariffs, seeking to maintain a similar level of concessions from the US - mirroring a similar move a day earlier by the European Union.

"We are seeing a recovery and a potential growth in trade and global growth but it is threatened by these tariffs", Malmstroem told a press conference in the French city of Strasbourg.

Mexico and Canada - U.S. trading partners under the NAFTA agreement - are among countries that have won temporary exemptions to the otherwise blanket tariffs on U.S. imports of aluminium and steel.

The US has responded to the EU's and India's requests in the same fashion.

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Earlier, China and India also addressed the WTO with objections, claiming that the tariffs were "safeguards" to protect the sector against a surge of imports.

"We have not offered the U.S. anything", she said this morning.

Calling the behavior "pure protectionism", Malmstrom said the European Union would not be offering any concessions in an attempt to be made exempt from the tariffs before the May 1 negotiation deadline, but "we expect to be permanently and unconditionally exempted from these measures".

"We expect to be permanently and unconditionally excluded from these measures", Malmstroem said as the commission launched the approval process for trade deals it has struck with Japan and Singapore.

Malmstrom also expressed concern about trade tensions between the US and China, describing a possible escalation as "something that could be very worrisome for the global economy".