German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has sharply criticized US President Donald Trump’s tariffs and sanctions policies, saying such measures were destroying jobs and growth and that Europe would not bow to US pressure regarding Iran.
The United States has triggered a bitter tit-for-tat trade dispute with import tariffs meant to protect American jobs against what Trump calls unfair trade practices from China, Europe and other countries.
Trump’s determination to push ahead with sanctions on Tehran which also target European companies doing business with Iran has opened another battle front.
“This trade war is slowing down and destroying economic growth – and it creates new uncertainties,” Altmaier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that consumers suffered the most because higher tariffs were driving up prices.
Altmaier lauded the agreement reached by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during negotiations with Trump last month, saying the interim deal had saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe.
The US and the European Union are embroiled in a spat after Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports and Brussels responded with retaliatory tariffs on some US goods.