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Merkel hopes for talks on US tariffs, says Europe must be ready to respond

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe must be ready to respond to the unilateral imposition of trade tariffs by the United States. “If this unilateral action cannot be avoided, then we must think about how we can respond in a reciprocal fashion; but I am first of all focusing on talks and there will be plenty of opportunities for them,” she told a news conference in Berlin. On Thursday, US President Donald Trump set import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, to come into force in 15 days. Washington opened the way to some exemptions the following day after pressure from its allies.