Shipping is vital for global trade, enabling the import and export of goods on a scale that is not possible for any other transport mode. Around 90% of world trade in goods is carried by the international shipping industry and EU shipping companies play an important role in this global industry.

Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General, stated:

This protectionist decision of imposing 25% import duties on steel and 10% on aluminium will obviously have a negative impact on transatlantic relations and on global markets. The European Shipping Community is concerned with this development and the potential of full-scale trade war. It is clear that the tariffs might leverage to other products as we have already heard from the EU leaders’ responses. A full scale trade war will benefit nobody.

European shipowners control 40% of the world’s merchant fleet and operate shipping services worldwide. This includes trade between non EU countries such as trade between the Far East and Latin America, so called "cross trades". For many shipping companies, most of their trade activity takes place outside of the EU.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is also concerned regarding the new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, imposed by the US Government, which could lead to negative economic consequences for Washington state.