"Once again, so many of us in Europe are outraged by confrontational policy decisions on the part of US President Donald Trump. But let's not get bogged down in futile anger and empty laments. Instead, we must focus on the tasks at hand.
"The US tariffs on steel and aluminium are but an opening move. It would appear Mr. Trump believes World Trade is a zero-sum game. He wants to see a world trade order that breaks from the past and is instead replaced by one in which the US unilaterally decides based on rules tailored to its own interests.
"Let’s show the United States that we are united. These measures are hitting Europe, but are meant so send a message to China. As an old Chinese proverb states, it is a case of “killing a chicken to frighten the monkey.” Let’s be under no illusion: it won't be easy not being the chicken.
"We must do our level-headed best to avoid a trade war, whilst protecting European interests whole-heartedly. It will be a difficult balancing act, which will involve taking this case to the World Trade Organization arbitration panel provided for by the Commission. We must send out a clear signal that we are not simply prepared to turn the other cheek.
What we need now is genuine united support for the European Commission's approach. If the US succeeded in dividing between different industrial sectors and countries in Europe we would, as Thomas Jefferson said, "all hang separately". That's why we must hang together."