Theresa May tells Donald Trump of 'deep concern' over trade war threat
Theresa May has told Donald Trump of her "deep concern" at his threat to slap huge tariffs on imported steel.
The Prime Minister made clear her concern about the president's trade war threat in a phone call on Sunday afternoon.
She said "multi-lateral action" was the only way to tackle the problem of global over-supply of steel.
President Trump sprung a major surprise last week by announcing that steel imports into the United States would face a 25% tariff and aluminium 10%.
He said he was taking the action to protect the American steel industry, which he said had been "decimated" by global trade policies.
Setting out his position on Twitter, the president said trade wars were "good".
He further ramped up the rhetoric on Saturday by threatening to impose taxes on cars imported to America from the EU.
After Mrs May's phone call with Presisdent Trump, a Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister raised our deep concern at the president’s forthcoming announcement on steel and aluminium tariffs, noting that multilateral action was the only way to resolve the problem of global overcapacity in all parties’ interests."
The pair also discussed the ongoing civil war in Syria, in particular "the appalling humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta", the spokesman said.
"They agreed it was a humanitarian catastrophe, and that the overwhelming responsibility for the heart-breaking human suffering lay with the Syrian regime and Russia, as the regime’s main backer," the spokesman said.
"They agreed that Russia and others with influence over the Syrian regime must act now to cease their campaign of violence and to protect civilians."
The row over steel tariffs is just the latest in a long line of clashes between Mrs May and President Trump.
Last month, the Prime Minister hit back after the president claimed the NHS was "broke and not working".
The incident followed a rebuke from the Prime Minister in November, when she said President Trump was "wrong" to retweet anti-Muslim posts from far-right group Britain First.
The pair have also clashed over President Trump's decision to ban immigrants from some Muslim countries, America's withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement and the US embassy in Israel's controversial move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.