Rome, Italy. Simmering trade disputes between the United States and Europe would hurt economic growth and global governance at a time when the West needs to show a unified front, Italy’s industry minister said on Friday.
“Any trade clash between the United States and Europe would be dangerous not only for our economies, but also for the rules that govern globalisation,” Industry Minister Carlo Calenda stated to reporters in Rome.
His general comments on trade came after the US Department of Commerce ruled on Thursday that foreign producers, including those in Italy and Germany, had dumped certain types of steel on the U.S. market, opening the way for duties to be imposed.
Italy has yet to comment specifically, but Germany said the European Union should consider filing a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Emma Marcegaglia, head of the Italian family-controlled Marcegaglia steel group that was targeted by the U.S. Commerce Department in US trade action, strongly rejected the idea of new border taxes stating, “A border tax would be a declaration of trade war that should be brought before the WTO, and when you start a war you don’t know where you will end up.”
The Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has previously said major powers should reject “the temptation of protectionism.” Which he indicates also includes the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Japan and Canada.
Italy will be hosting a Group of Seven summit this May in Sicily, the first involving US President Donald Trump, who has pledged to fight trade practices that he claims hurt American corporations.