© European Union , 2018 / Photo: Mauro Bottaro.
At a meeting at the European Commission in Brussels, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström met today with Minister for Economy and Industry of Japan Hiroshige Seko and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Commissioner Malmström and Minister Seko raised with Ambassador Lighthizer US President Trump’s decision to impose additional duties on imports of certain steel and aluminium products into the US under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. They emphasised the strong concern of both the European Union and Japan at the announced measures. As long-standing security partners of the United States, they underlined to Ambassador Lighthizer their expectation that EU and Japanese exports to the US would be exempted from the application of higher tariffs.
Commissioner Malmström also met bilaterally with Ambassador Lighthizer to discuss the issue further, and gain additional clarity on the process surrounding the announced measures. She tweeted after their meeting: ”I had a frank discussion with the US side about the serious pending issue of steel and aluminium tariffs. As a close security and trade partner of the United States, the European Union must be excluded from the announced measures. No immediate clarity on the exact US procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week.”
“International LNG markets are set for major change with substantial new liquefaction capacity coming on stream. LNG prices across the Atlantic and Pacific basin are converging and the LNG market moves towards higher liquidity and flexibility. For the EU, the current developments in the global LNG market offer an opportunity to let LNG play its full role in diversifying gas supplies to all member states and in enhancing the competitiveness in the internal gas market.” Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said ahead of the sign of a joint Memorandum of Cooperation on LiquefiedNatural Gas (LNG).
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko on 11th July, will sign a joint Memorandum of Cooperation on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). As the EU and Japan taken together account for nearly 50% of overall global LNG consumption, reinforced cooperation between the EU and Japan will promote the liquidity, flexibility and transparency of the global LNG market. The signature takes place just days after leaders at the EU-Japan Summit in Brussels reached a political agreement on two landmark agreements, the Economic Partnership Agreement and the strategic partnership agreement.
Commissioner Cañete concluded: “Japan is the world’s largest LNG importer. Being natural allies in this regard, the EU and Japan both want to promote the liquidity, transparency and flexibility of the global LNG market. This will ensure competitive LNG supplies and make the international market more resilient and prepared to respond to emergencies.”