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Minister Virolainen: The United States' decision to restrict imports of steel and aluminium from the EU is very unfortunate - Embassy of Finland, Bangkok : Current Affairs : Ministry for Foreign Affairs News


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Press Releases, 6/1/2018 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Minister Virolainen: The United States' decision to restrict imports of steel and aluminium from the EU is very unfortunate

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has placed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU. The tariffs on imports will enter into force on 1 June 2018. 

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen considers President Donald Trump's decision very unfortunate.

"The grounds for the restrictions are artificial, because steel and aluminium exports from the EU countries do not threaten the national security of the United States. Moreover, these actions will not resolve the excess capacity problem, but work to resolve this issue must be continued in international forums despite the US decision," Minister Virolainen emphasises.

Tariffs on steel are 25% and tariffs on aluminium are 10%. Imposing tariffs would markedly reduce steel and aluminium imports from the EU to the USA. Additionally, steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by the USA on some countries have led to increasing imports to the EU.

"Finland is concerned about the impacts of these actions on the competitiveness and jobs of European companies in both Europe and the United States. Furthermore, we cannot overlook the wider impacts on global trade and the international system of trade. Intensive discussions were held between the EU and US administrations with a view to finding a solution that would satisfy both parties. I hoped that the USA would have withdrawn the import restrictions applying to the EU," Minister Virolainen says

The EU is currently assessing the situation and possible decisions on the next steps will be made soon.

For Finland, the United States is among the most important trading and investment partners after the EU countries. Finnish subsidiaries in numerous business sectors provide employment for approximately 34,000 persons in the United States and if indirect effects are taken into account, work is provided to as many 70,000 persons. Finland exports mainly forestry products, measuring instruments, special machinery, electrical machines and devices, and mineral oils to the United States.

In 2017, the United States' share of Finland's total exports of steel was 2.4%, steel goods' share was 4.6%, and aluminium goods' share was 0.5%. The actions announced by the USA apply to 1.8% of Finland's US exports.

Inquiries: Tuuli-Maaria Aalto, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 352 0463, and Marjut Akola, Director of the Market Access Unit, tel. +358 40 352 0408.

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Updated 6/1/2018

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