German economy minister says ‘up to US’ to avoid trade row escalation

The European Union has reached out to the United States to talk about strengthening free and fair trade within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Germany’s economy minister said on Tuesday. Now it is up to Washington to respond, Peter Altmaier said in a statement. “It is now up to the United States to grab our hand and avoid an escalation that would hurt everyone,” Reuters quoted Altmaier as saying. The influential German minister also said that the EU was ready to talk about market access for industrial goods and energy issues.