Bruno Le Maire is responding to Trump’s threat of putting 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.
Unless Emmanuel Macron, French President and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are able to persuade Trump during their visits this week, the tariffs will start on May 1.
Mr Maire said: “The EU has to be ready to take all the appropriate decisions if the American administration decides to raise tariffs on the EU.”
The French finance minister is proposing a trade off, by giving the EU a permanent waiver from these tariffs, France would be willing to discuss the multilateral trade system with the US and the future of the WTO.
Mr Maire said: “We are ready to open a discussion with our American friends on the future of the WTO, on the improvement of the WTO and the whole multilateral trade system.
“But first of all we have to get rid of that question of new tariffs.”
Just last week, the EU was seeking compensation from the US for the tariffs through the WTO.
When Trump first announced his plans to impose the tariffs back on March 1 it immediately invoked the anger of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
Mr Juncker said: “We strongly regret this step, which appears to represent a blatant intervention to protect US domestic industry and not to be based on any national security justification.
“We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk … The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.”