Japan’s trade minister sought an exemption from U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminium on Saturday (March 10) and called for “calm-headed behaviour” in a dispute that threatens to spiral into a trade war.
Minister Hiroshige Seko said his U.S. counterpart Robert Lighthizer had only explained the schedule and procedure of the U.S. actions in talks in Brussels. Seko said he believed there was still time for Japan to secure an exemption.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order on Thursday (March 8) to set import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, to come into effect in 15 days. But he exempted Canada and Mexico and held out the possibility of excluding other allies.
Japan, Seko said, would stick to World Trade Organization rules in terms of taking measures.