A trade war now appears inevitable after US President Donald Trump signed off on contentious import tariffs on steel and aluminum last week.

Now, trade chiefs from countries of the European Union, EU and Japan are holding talks concerning the decision.

The meeting has been scheduled amid fears the tariffs could elicit trade war between U.S. and its allies.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem met on Saturday in Brussels with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko.

U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer joined the two for broader talks later Saturday.

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The EU is seeking clarity from Washington about whether the 28-nation bloc will be exempted from the U.S. tariffs, just like it did to Canada and Mexico.

If not, the EU has threatened retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products.

Key U.S. trading partners and businesses have warned the tariffs could backfire, provoking a trade war and hurting allies more than China, their main target.

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