EU trade chief demands exemption from US steel tariffs

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem, center, meets with Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at EU headquarters in Brussels on Saturday, March 10, 2018. The EU is still seeking clarity from Washington about whether the 28-nation bloc will be exempt from U.S. President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem, center left, meets with Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, third right, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, fourth right, at EU headquarters in Brussels on Saturday, March 10, 2018. The EU is still seeking clarity from Washington about whether the 28-nation bloc will be exempt from U.S. President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem, right, speaks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels on Saturday, March 10, 2018. The EU is still seeking clarity from Washington about whether the 28-nation bloc will be exempt from U.S. President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, center, leaves EU headquarters in Brussels after a meeting with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem, Saturday, March 10, 2018. The EU is still seeking clarity from Washington about whether the 28-nation bloc will be exempt from U.S. President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

BRUSSELS — The European Union's top trade official says the 28-nation bloc should be excluded from U.S. President Donald Trump's new steel and aluminum tariffs, which enter force this week.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Monday that "the EU should be excluded as a whole" and that she would convey this message to U.S. representatives in talks in Washington on Tuesday.

Malmstrom said the EU is willing to address the problem of steel overproduction, which she says is the real cause of pain for the U.S. and European industries.

Trump is imposing tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, but is temporarily exempting Canada and Mexico.

The EU has drawn up a list of "rebalancing" duties to slap on U.S. products if it is not exempted.

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