Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz sharply criticized the US plans to introduce duties on the import of steel and aluminum, he accounted for their "idiocy."
"If necessary, a reaction will follow, which, it is hoped, will lead to a rethinking of the United States, and it will be possible to abandon this idiocy," RIA Novosti quotes Kurtz as quoting the Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
He made the statement after the speech before the Council of Ministers.
He stressed that in case of a trade war both sides - the US and the EU - will be losers.
Note that on the eve of the White House explained the approach to duties on imports of steel and aluminum. The US authorities intend to make a decision on import duties for steel and aluminum for each country separately, for some states they can make exceptions, the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. In particular, exceptions for reasons of national security can be made for Canada and Mexico
On Wednesday, European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said that if the US president Donald Trump introduced a duty of 25% on imports of steel and aluminum, the European Union could impose a return fee on American products within two months. According to her, the European Commission on Wednesday already discussed a preliminary list of industrial and agricultural products from the United States, which may be covered by the return duties, including steel, whiskey "bourbon", peanut butter and orange juice. The list was transferred by the European Commission to the governments of the EU member states for its possible expansion, the European Commissioner said.
Last week, Trump said that the US introduced import duties on steel in the amount of 25% and aluminum at 10%. At the same time, NBC reported with reference to sources that Trump "did not own himself" when he decided to launch a "trade war".
New duties can be introduced on Thursday. A number of politicians, experts and international organizations warned that this could lead to a trade war. Trump expressed confidence that the US would easily win a trade war, although many economists believe that this is hardly true.