European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker identified the products as targets for "counter measures" the European Union has been preparing, a Commission spokesperson told CNN. "We would like a reasonable relationship to the United States, but we can not simply put our head in the sand". Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseThe 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump's immigration framework GOP senator on indictments: "Mueller just put Moscow on notice" Prison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections MORE (R) who called the plan "kooky".
World Trade Organization: Headquartered in Geneva, it describes itself as "the only global worldwide organization dealing with the rule of trade between nations".
"Unlike possibly other countries, there's no unfair competition or dumping prices from German or European firms", German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. It has maintained a persistent trade deficit in steel for more than a decade, importing about four times as much steel than it exported a year ago.
But to conform with WTO rules such measures would have to apply to imports from all countries and could also hit producers including China, India, Russia, South Korea and Turkey. There are better ways to address concerns about the American steel and aluminum industries.
Chinese leaders have threatened in the past to retaliate if Trump raises trade barriers, but now need to weigh whether to back up those threats with action and risk jeopardizing US market access for smartphones and other exports that matter more to their economy than metals.
"Everyone realizes a trade war doesn't do anyone any good, so if it's scaled down considerably, maybe the other countries condemn it but don't necessarily do anything about it", Kinahan said.
Full-scale retaliation would go against its long-standing message that global trade should be free - as well as fair.
Perez-Rocha, the Institute for Policy Studies fellow, said: "A full blown trade war is unsafe for both sides".
Data from European steel association Eurofer shows the United States was the destination of about 15 percent of Europe's steel exports in 2017. Klöckner generates annual revenue of around $3.5 million in the U.S.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada is prepared to take responsive measures to defend its trade interests.
Financial markets have taken fright at the prospect of a trade war, with Germany's DAX index closing down 2.3% in Frankfurt, as investors fretted over the impact on Germany's export-heavy economy.
The biggest impact could be on manufacturers who use aluminum or steel to produce these products.
Trump's move will possibly raise steel and aluminum prices in the U.S. That is good news for American companies, but bad for companies that use the metals, such as manufacturers of beer and air conditioning equipment.
A further counter-measure under consideration would specifically target the United States to "rebalance" trade between the two, European Union sources say. China is 11th on the list of countries the U.S. imports steel from, accounting for only 2 per cent of USA steel imports. NPR's Jim Zarroli recently reports that "U.S. aerospace industry, which provides 2.5 million American jobs and exports heavily, depends on steel and aluminum imports to build aircraft".
National Economic Council Director Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others for months had tried to steer Trump away from aggressive tariffs, but the president resisted their counsel, a senior administration official said.
"The planned reduction in US imports accounts for only just shy of 3 percent of global imports in the case of aluminum". General Motors was down 1 per cent.