Brussels: The EU expects President Donald Trump to grant Europe a last-minute exemption from punishing metals tariffs later Thursday, the bloc's top trade official said after talks in Washington.
"This afternoon, Trump will make an announcement on possible exclusions," EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told European lawmakers in Brussels after her visit to the US.
"We expect that we are on that list, we don't know for sure."
Trump shocked the world with his sudden announcement earlier this month of a 10-percent levy on aluminium and 25-percent tariff on steel, angering Washington's closest allies.
Malmstroem made the EU's case over two days in the US, negotiating the carve-out with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a strong backer of Trump's "America First" policies.
A European source said that Ross had agreed the exemption, which could be temporary, and would make the case to Trump.
Malmstroem, who returned to Brussels early Thursday, briefed EU envoys on the situation ahead of the leaders summit in which the prospect of a transatlantic trade war is a top agenda item.
Trump has promised to spare both Canada and Mexico, the United States' closest trade partners and fellow signatories of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier laid out hope that Malmstroem's shuttle diplomacy may have borne fruit stressing that "fighting until the last minute is worth it".
The close confidant of Chancellor Angela Merkel reported a "very positive impression" of US Secretary Ross, who he also met earlier this week in Washington trip for last-minute talks.
"We both know what the problem is," Altmaier said, pointing the finger instead at China.
Separately, Trump is expected to announce new sanctions against China, for the "theft" of US intellectual property as Beijing vowed to retaliate.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)