European Union has 'been brutal' to the United States, says Trump

Saul Bowman
March 6, 2018

President Donald Trump reportedly went ahead with plans to impose strict tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. without an official endorsement from his own staff because he was angry, NBC News reported Friday, speaking to two Trump administration officials.

Mr Trump's move move could ignight a trade war, with Europe already threatening to put levies on American goods.

Trump views tariffs as a way to protect, something that was central to winning blue collar support during his 2016 campaign.

The analysis came a day after Trump surprised seemingly everyone with specific, imminent tariffs on the materials.

President Donald Trump's secretary of commerce dismissed criticism that proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum would lead to a loss of and price hikes for consumers.

Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the USA, said tariffs would cause disruption on both sides of the border.

Japan was more specific, saying "The 25% across the board tariff on foreign steel is ill advised and naïve". That is no showstopper, they contended. Does anyone really believe Canada is a national security threat to the U.S.?

Meanwhile, industry will watch global trade developments for signs of tensions turning into trouble, and early signs pointed to emerging tensions.

Wang tore into the new steel and aluminum tariffs announced by US President Trump, calling them "groundless" in remarks to state media.

Diverted steel previously destined for the US could swamp Canada's domestic market and will also drive down prices in other countries, making it more hard for Canadian producers to sell elsewhere, Galimberti said.

"Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products", Freeland said, "Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers".

On Friday, Trump tweeted that "trade wars are good, and easy to win", as the U.S. is locked in disadvantageous deals and stands to lose less from a ramping up of financial barriers.

"I think what the president had in mind was that unlike the Smoot-Hawley days in the 1930s, back then U.S. had a big trade surplus and the world was in a depression".

In Trump's mind, trade wars themselves are "good and easy to win".

Trump's proposal most closely resembled the last option.

"We must show that we can also take measures".

China also condemned the move, with a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson saying: "If all countries followed the example of the United States, [it] will undoubtedly result in a serious impact on the global trade order".

The ministry said Beijing has satisfied its trade obligations and appealed to Washington to settle market access and subsidy disputes through negotiation.

Japan's steel industry also urged Donald Trump not to impose steep tariffs on imports, warning it would have "serious harmful effects" on trade worldwide.

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