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UK trade minister does not rule out counter-measures after U.S. tariff blow

LONDON (Reuters) - British trade minister Liam Fox said on Thursday he hoped the United States will think again about its decision to move ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, but did not rule out retaliation.

"We absolutely do not rule out counter-measures and we do not rule out taking our dispute to the World Trade Organisation," Fox told Sky News.

"Obviously we still hope the United States will think again about this but it would be a great pity if we ended up in a tit-for-tat trade dispute with out closes allies."

Earlier a government spokesman said Britain was "deeply disappointed" about the tariffs, adding: "The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium."

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Costas Pitas)