Trump hits closest allies with steel, aluminum tariffs

01 June, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • President Donald Trump announced in March that the United States would slap a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum citing national security

Trudeau's comments came alongside a report from Bloomberg News stating that Canada's trade officials had announced retaliatory tariffs on steel and aluminum, which the country says will stay in place as long as the US policies remain.

"We are challenging the U.S. and China, we are not choosing any sides".

The Mexican economy ministry also related the country's displeasure with the new crackdown: "Mexico profoundly regrets and condemns the decision by the United States to impose these tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Mexico". "If Americans got all their clothing, all their food, all their goods and services for free, they still couldn't compete with other countries because the economy has been so financialized that American labor has been priced out of world markets".

"They chose not to offer a reasonable quota, and we had to put the tariffs on", he said. According to their justification, imports can reduce America's domestic production capacity and the country could find itself in a "situation where the United States would be unable to meet demand for national defense and critical infrastructure in a national emergency".

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made the announcement Thursday morning.

Economists and United States companies have warned that higher metal costs will disrupt supply chains and eventually get passed on to U.S. households.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Volkswagen said Friday it views the tariffs with "regret and concern".

"He's created a trade war that is going to cause a massive problem for steel stockholders, steel producers throughout Europe".

Shares of U.S. steel producers gained in trading on Thursday, while companies that rely on the metals, such as Caterpillar and Boeing, declined.

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In a sternly-worded statement, he added that the European Union would "not negotiate under threat".

EU: Juncker said the bloc would move forward with tariffs on equal value to the steel and aluminium measures.

Ben Digby, CBI's global director, said: "These tariffs could lead to a protectionist domino effect, damaging firms, employees and consumers in the US, UK and many other trading partners. Now that we have clarity, the EU's response will be proportionate and in accordance with WTO rules". The administration is separately moving ahead with tariffs on Chinese goods.

This morning, Mexico announced tariffs on USA goods in retaliation while the European Union promised to do the same.

European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28-nation bloc "will announce in the next coming hours counter-balancing measures" in response to the USA action.

Europe, Canada and Mexico say that as close allies of the USA they should receive exemptions from the measures.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire termed the United States tariffs as "unjustified unjustifiable and dangerous".

The news organization reports House Speaker Paul Ryan said there were better means to help American makers of steel and aluminum, and that he hopes to show Trump the other options.

"The Trump administration seems to regard overt threats, including tariffs and repudiation of previous agreements, as a key element for gaining leverage in trade negotiations", said Eswar Prasad, a former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division and now a professor at Cornell University.

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