Trump administration imposes tariffs on steel, aluminum imports from Europe, Canada, Mexico

Saul Bowman
May 31, 2018

The EU - along with Canada and Mexico - are now receiving a temporary exemption which expires Friday.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement late Wednesday that Canada has expanded the scope of its country of origin marking regime for steel and aluminum products to better determine where they come from.

But Macron said those "who waged bilateral trade wars. saw an increase in prices and an increase in unemployment".

"As to Canada, Mexico, you will recall that the reason for the deferral had been pending the outcome of the NAFTA talks", he said. South Korea has not negotiated an exemption for its aluminum exports. They are expected to lead to retaliation from European nations. Last week, The Trump administration announced an investigation into whether automobile imports are hurting USA national security, laying the groundwork for another trade fight.

The Trump administration imposed the duties on imports from most other US trading partners earlier this year to stem a flood of cheap steel and aluminum into the country.

The Mexican government said that the U.S. action was not justified, and that it would retaliate with its own comparable penalties on USA lamps, pork, fruit, cheese and flat steel.

But the pressing ahead nonetheless, a long-threatened tactic sure to cast a pall over the G7 summit Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hosting next week in Quebec.

The Commission has said the European Union will set duties $3.4 billion of US exports, including peanut butter and denim jeans, if its metals exports to the United States worth $7.5 billion are subject to tariffs.

European and USA equities lost ground slightly on fears the U.S. measures could spark a trade war.

The Mexican measures will be in place until the US government eliminates its tariffs, the ministry said.

Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron made their cases separately Wednesday to dissuade Trump, who is using a national-security clause in USA trade law to justify the move.

"Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in the world trade". But the broader market sank because of trade war fears.

European officials argue that tit-for-tat tariffs will hurt growth on both sides of the Atlantic and Canada said before the announcement that it would respond in kind.

U.S. Presidential nomineeDonald Trump walks past a Mexican flag after giving a press conference with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2016.

"Such a move would hit American manufacturers with higher costs, slow the growth of the USA construction sector, and put the brakes on job creation in both of these key industries", the Chamber said.

Last week, Trump ordered the Commerce Department to conduct a national security investigation into foreign auto imports. "Nothing", French President Emmanuel Macron said in an impassioned speech Wednesday.

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