EU rules requiring tariffs to be lower on goods made in the EU are being challenged in a European court.EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström says the EU has to enforce the rules.
“In principle, the Commission has the power to require tariffs to reflect the market,” Malmstrom said on Tuesday.
“We have to apply the rule of law.
In practice, we are obliged to apply rules in line with the rules of the EU.”
It is therefore very important that the Commission upholds the principle of fair and equal treatment of all its member states.
“We cannot have a situation where the European Commission, which has a special duty to ensure the fair distribution of economic benefits, imposes on itself the duty to impose a higher tariff.”
Malmströrm said EU members must “avoid a situation in which unfair and unequal practices of the kind that took place in the United States can take place in EU countries as well”.
Malmstrom has said she will push for a full review of the tariffs she inherited from the previous commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, when she takes over as EU trade commissioner in March.
The EU has been struggling to deal with the fallout from a wave of tariffs that hit the US and other major economies in 2017.
Malmstors decision to impose tariffs of 2.5 percent on most imports from the US has provoked outrage and accusations of an anti-American agenda.US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose additional tariffs if the EU does not comply.