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US, EU can still talk trade after tariffs – commerce secretary

The US and EU could still negotiate a trade deal even if Washington imposes import tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday. EU leaders agreed earlier in May to open discussions about market access for US products, only if Washington grants the EU a permanent exemption from tariffs. The EU now has a temporary exemption, which expires on Friday. “There can be negotiations with or without tariffs in place. There are plenty of tariffs the EU has on us. It’s not that we can’t talk just because there’s tariffs,” Reuters quoted Ross as saying. Ross added that the EU had shown limited interest in serious trade negotiations with the US until the threat of tariffs.