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No Trade War with Europe, Predicts US Official - 2003-11-17

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow says the United States and Europe will probably avoid a trade war over steel tariffs and corporate tax breaks for exporters.

His comments come as President George Bush heads for London for talks on economic and other issues Tuesday.

The European Union is threatening to slap retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars worth of U.S. made products if Washington does not remove stiff tariffs on steel products bound for the United States. The World Trade Organization ruled those U.S. tariffs illegal last week.

Secretary Snow, speaking in a television interview Monday, did not say whether President Bush will abolish the steel tariffs. But he said the U.S. Congress will probably eliminate certain corporate tax breaks for American exporters by the end of this year. Those tax breaks have sparked additional sanction threats from the EU.