European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday dialogue with the United States is key to avoid protectionism.
Tusk made the remarks at a news conference after an European Union summit meeting in Brussels.
"We need to avoid protectionism at the global level. This is a major risk for jobs, not only in Europe. In this respect, dialogue with the U.S. is key," he said.
Tusk said the EU leaders were waiting for Washington to confirm the news that the EU would be exempted from the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs which was reportedly disclosed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Speaking to the Senate Finance Committee, Lighthizer said on Thursday the U.S. will grant the EU and six other economies a temporary exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs signed off by President Donald Trump earlier this month.
Lighthizer said that there are countries involved in various stages of trade talks with the United States and that the president decided "to pause the imposition of tariffs with respect to those countries."
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that the EU bloc is "always willing to engage with our American partners, but we do not negotiate anything under pressure or threat."