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US to impose tariffs on steel, aluminum from European Union soon

04 June, 2018, 07:28 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Canada to impose tariff 'countermeasures' on US

Mexico said it would levy tariffs on American farm products, while Canada zeroed in on the same metals that Trump has targeted.

The EU and Canada on June 1 lodged complaints against Trump's tariffs with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first step in the trade dispute process through the Geneva-based arbitrator.

The 25 percent tariff on steel imports to the United States and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports went into effect on June 1, ending a two-month exemption and setting the stage for criticism from France, Germany, Britain, Mexico, Canada, and European Union officials.

"These tariffs are an affront to the longstanding security partnership between Canada and the United States", he said.

President Donald Trump on Friday took to Twitter and lambasted Canada for mistreating American farmers.

Brazil, Argentina and Australia have agreed to limit steel shipments to the United States in exchange for being spared the tariffs, the Commerce Department said.

France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called the US tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe". Industry body UK Steel said that, with exports to America worth half a billion dollars a year, producers in Britain would be "hit hard".

The tariffs are particularly damaging to the UK's hopes of a trade liberalisation deal with the U.S. after Brexit.

Canada has crafted a retaliation plan that would involve USA steel and aluminum and other politically sensitive products, sources briefed on Ottawa's strategy said.

In a statement, Harley-Davidson said retaliatory tariffs "would have a significant impact on our sales" in those countries.

Trudeau also noted that now the US has a $2 billion USA dollar surplus in steel trade with Canada and that Canada buys more American-made steel than any other country in the world.

The trade penalties, which included a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum, will be in effect starting Thursday at midnight.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, campaigning in advance of the June 7 provincial election, savaged the USA president as she called the tariff measure short-sighted and urged Trudeau "to take the strongest retaliation possible to protect our workers" and industry.

"We have to keep things in proportion", he said on the French radio station France Info.

Officials at the G-7 meeting have expressed frustration over the United States decision to take unilateral action amid ongoing trade negotiations.

The EU has opened a case at the World Trade Organization after the USA imposed a 25% duty on European steel and a 10% duty on European aluminium on Friday. Mexico said it would retaliate with "equivalent" measures against USA products, including pork legs, apples, grapes, cheese, steel and other goods. President Donald Trump had announced the tariffs in March, citing national security concerns.

Trudeau yesterday said that talks with the USA collapsed after a call with Pence in which the VP drew a red line under a five-year sunset for whatever deal is negotiated.

The tariffs were introduced by the US President in response to the markets being flooded by cheap Chinese steel which has endangered the competitiveness of the industry in the West.

He said: "I am sure that there are chips on both sides that can get traded to make the problem go away".

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