"Stronger rules on industrial subsidies, etc.", she added.
But President Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that the United States would impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum - with some countries potentially exempted - suddenly raised a fear that few had anticipated: That U.S. tariffs could trigger a chain of tit-for-tat retaliation by America's trading partners that could erupt into a full-blown trade war and possibly threaten the global economy.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said after meetings in Brussels that she got "no immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption", and that new talks are planned next week.
Despite the region's oil wealth and unlikelihood that any tariffs would be imposed on energy imports from the Gulf, the GCC remains vulnerable to any widespread economic downturn, said Monica de Bolle, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics based in Washington DC. Another factor to keep in mind is that Trump wants to lessen the U.S. trade deficit with China, and that his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs might just be the opening salvo in a much larger and comprehensive strategy aimed against the People's Republic.
Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said such protectionist tariffs were a "major threat" to the demand side of the oil equation and would likely prompt a "vicious cycle" of downward pricing pressures.
"And in addition, we will have to think about counter-measures".
A U.S. Commerce Department report released in February said the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports "threaten to impair the national security", citing excessive imports and global production overcapacity driven partly by Chinese government subsidies.
The European Union, the world's biggest trade bloc, chimed in.
The EU on Friday said EU companies were "not a source of unfair trade".
South Korea made an impassioned appeal to the USA secretary of defence and national security adviser, reminding them of its role in trying to defang North Korea, while Europe pointed out that it was a longstanding military ally of the United States.
Ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks arrives to meet behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee
President Donald Trump's announcement of import tariffs, and the prospect of retaliation by other countries, is prompting some fund managers to pare their holdings of US stocks and look for opportunities overseas.
The inevitable effect is that the price of US steel and aluminum would rise. Tariffs would "seriously impact the normal order of worldwide trade", the Commerce Ministry said.
At the present levels of production, any barrier to global trade can disrupt the steel industry, leading to a fall in global prices.
Still, there were signs that attempts by some countries to win tariff immunity from the United States were sowing tension among European allies.
Among experts it is hard to find voices defending Trump's tariff and trade war policy as being good for U.S.jobs.
After the aerospace trade outbursts, fights over lumber and the time-to-time Trump's verbal jabs at the country, Canadians don't want to see their country getting into cross-border brawls. "Their excess capacity alone exceeds the total USA steel-making capacity".
Mr. Norman and five other prominent Australian business leaders signed a letter beseeching Mr. Trump not to take "any action that might have demonstrable negative impact on the mutually beneficial American-Australian bilateral relationship".
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, said he agreed with Trump's view that the USA needs fair trade agreements, but he thinks Trump's broad tariffs could misfire instead of deliver higher wages and economic growth.
Even if the president is correct about imbalances in worldwide trade pacts resulting in unfair results for USA industry and markets, there are better ways to address the problem, according to Gupta.
Trump said at a press conference this week that he likes "conflict", and certainly there was some of that internally on the tariffs.