Merkel criticizes Trump's tariffs, calls for talks before retaliation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized US President Donald Trump's plans to impose punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium, but called for a cool-headed response.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she hopes the European Union will be exempted from new U.S. tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum, like Mexico and Canada.

The planned tariff hikes are "not good" and are being seen with concern, Merkel said after meeting the heads of German industry in the southern city of Munich on Friday.

Merkel noted that the European Commission has proposed retaliatory measures if EU imports into the U.S. are affected by the tariffs.

She said talks with the United States should be a priority, adding that Germany fully supports the Commission, which negotiates trade matters on behalf of the entire 28-nation bloc.

Merkel said "the best thing would be if we (the European Union) could be excluded."

But she added that if talks fail, "we, in Europe, can of course also react."

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