European shipowners are ‘greatly concerned’ with U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to impose additional tariffs on certain imported steel and aluminium products into the United States, the European Community of Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) said Tuesday.
President Donald Trump last week signed an order to impose duties on imported steel and aluminum despite critics concerns that such tariffs could lead to a full-blown trade war.
“This protectionist decision of imposing 25% import duties on steel and 10% on aluminium will obviously have a negative impact on transatlantic relations and on global markets”, said Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General.
“The European Shipping Community is concerned with this development and the potential of full-scale trade war. It is clear that the tariffs might leverage to other products as we have already heard from the EU leaders’ responses. A full scale trade war will benefit nobody”, Dorsman added.
European shipowners control around 40% of the world’s merchant fleet, according to the ECSA, operating shipping services all over the world. In fact, for many shipping companies, the majority of their trade activity actually happens outside of the European Union between non-EU countries, like the Far East and Latin America, in so-called “cross trades”.
For this reason, the ECSA says that European shipowners are “greatly concerned” about the proposed tariffs.
“European shipowners call US and the counterparts to respect the principles of free trade and prevent a full scale trade war”, concluded Dorsman.