Trump hits Canada, Mexico, EU with steel and aluminum tariffs

Trump Slaps Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on the E.U., Canada, and Mexico

Trump Slaps Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on the E.U., Canada, and Mexico

In anticipation, the European Union already drew up a long list of counter-measures against the U.S., which include equivalent duties on a whole range of products including cranberries, motorcycles and bourbon whiskey.

"This is $16.6 billion of retaliation", said Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday.

Responding to Washington's move on tariffs, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, called them tariffs totally unacceptable and pledged to introduce counterbalancing measures. "That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable".

The dragging on of the NAFTA talks was a key reason behind the USA move to target Canada and Mexico, but given the importance of that trade agreement to the continent's economy, neither US neighbour was deterred.

A 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminium imports will be imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico starting at midnight (0400 GMT on Friday), Ross told reporters. We think a trade war is in nobody's interests.

This is because the trade relationship that exists is largely balanced, with nearly equal amounts of steel travelling between the USA and Canada.

Although many in the United States business community have reacted with alarm, Trump's actions have won him favour in the domestic steel and aluminium industry.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president acted on national security grounds, seeing a rising tide of imports as a threat to the domestic metals industry.

A temporary moratorium on the tariff was imposed in March for both Canada and Mexico and loosely tied to ongoing talks with the North American Free Trade Agreement but those talks have not yet resulted in an agreement.

But now the exemptions on Mexico, Canada and the European Union are being lifted, and tariffs will be collected starting Friday.

European officials argue that the tariffs, along with retaliatory actions, will hurt growth on both sides of the Atlantic. To put further pressure on an already furious EU, Donald Trump has further threatened a ban on all German vehicle imports which could have a devastating effect on Europe's largest national economy, as well as a deeply negative effect on United States consumer choice. Ryan said there are better ways to help American workers and consumers and that he plans to work with Trump on "those better options".

The tariffs, set to take effect at midnight, happened to coincide with the Cansec trade show, in which numerous world's largest defence companies descend on Ottawa each year to pitch their wares to government.

"This is (going to have) significant consequences", Qualtrough said on the sidelines of the trade show after a breakfast address in which she provided an update on several major military procurement projects.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has announced a 1pm noon Friday news conference to deliver its response of the world's largest trading bloc.

Canada is the top supplier of steel to the United States, accounting for 17 percent of all imports.

Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, told Fox News: "The president's actions are about protecting American steel, American aluminum".

Despite the harsh rhetoric, a successful Nafta negotiation is important for Mr. Trudeau, since it represents an important gauge of his ability to manage the Canadian economy, heavily reliant on selling goods to the U.S. He faces an election test in the fall of 2019, and he has now slipped in recent polls after an extended honeymoon.

Former British trade minister Francis Maude has condemned the United States' decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as "stupid" and counterproductive.

"We'll have to be able to produce more steel for the Canadian market", Howe said.

Will the trade war escalate?

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