Steel & Aluminum Tariffs 'Against Agreed International Rules,' Per EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom

April FrancisJun 04, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to hit Canada - as well as Mexico and the European Union - was reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday, and confirmed to The Globe and Mail by a senior Canadian official and a U.S. industry source.

May said in a statement that the U.S., the European Union and Britain are close allies and have always promoted values of open and fair trade across the world. The Commission has said the European Union will set duties on 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of USA exports, including peanut butter and denim jeans, if its metals exports to the United States worth 6.4 billion euros ($7.5 billion) are subject to tariffs.

Trump criticized Canada's softwood lumber and agriculture policies, using them as examples of how America is being treated poorly by Canada. The EU also started the process of filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

"And we are working very hard to remind our American partners that we have such an integrated procurement supply chain that it's very difficult to fathom that there would be a security risk imposed by Canada".

Canada has responded by imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff "countermeasures" on up to $16.6 billion worth of USA imports. And he said that while he was looking forward to continuing negotiations, the U.S.is making its decision on national security grounds - a justification Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has dismissed as absurd.

Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the U.S., will impose tariffs covering C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) on United States imports, including whiskey, orange juice, steel, aluminium and other products.

Wang acknowledged the differences on trade issues but argued they were the result of the country's development process and advocated finding a consensual solution through dialogue.

And on Tuesday, Trump said during a rally that he was going to make Mexico pay for a wall along the US border.

With the NAFTA talks seeming close to a possible breakthrough, Trudeau says he suggested to the US president last Friday that they sit down with Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto and talk about reaching a deal.

China to reduce import tariffs to boost trade
China responded by targeting $50 billion in US products, including soybeans-a shot at Trump supporters in America's heartland. It comes as the two countries work to avoid a trade war after the tough-talk and tariff escalations last month.

The new 25-percent tariff on steel imports and 10-percent tariff on aluminum came into force at midnight (4:00am GMT) on Friday.

Mr Morneau said Canada's government is not ready to discuss support or potential bailout packages for Canadian business sectors affected by the tariffs.

Friday's deadline for exemptions also affects Mexico and Canada, which are in negotiations with the United States on the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump has said he wants to revamp, or abandon if the talks fail.

Mexico struck back swiftly after the United States announced today that it would impose tariffs on Mexican metal imports.

The U.S. has a shortage of domestic supply of steel and aluminum, while prices have risen nearly 40 per cent since Trump announced tariffs in March, when he temporarily exempted Canada.

The United States in March announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

"Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in the world trade".

"Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to USA industry including in defence projects which bolster US national security", she said. Canada is also considering imposing levies on high-profile US -made consumer goods and luxury items, with the goal of hurting the United States in a visible way without damaging Canada's economy by restricting necessary imports.

"We know that the incumbent party suffers (at the ballot box) when the economy is bad", Leblond said. "I would like to absolutely assure Canadian participants, those who work in steel and aluminum industries, that the government is absolutely prepared to and will defend Canadian industries and Canadian jobs".

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