Trump hits Canada, Mexico, EU with steel and aluminum tariffs

Ann Santiago
June 2, 2018

And on the day of the Trump administration's announcement, Canada and Mexico each published tariff lists detailing plans to hit American exports of steel, aluminium, sausages, pizza and whiskey, among other things. It represents an apparent breakdown in Trudeau's efforts to find common ground with the tough-talking president.

"The industry remains greatly concerned about these potential tariffs", said Brian Wick, executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association.

The CBI warned the move would "damage prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic". Trump said they were needed to protect the United States from unfair competition.

'These are two very different countries.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies at a hearing of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 22, 2018.

President Donald Trump is launching a global trade war, and Trump country could take much of the heat.

"Canada is a secure supplier of steel and aluminum to the US defence industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa, where he and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined retaliatory tariffs of their own.

Business leaders also responded with dismay.

Sources say Trump will eventually have to consider the combination of the strong internal Republican and American business opposition to the tariffs, as well as the simple passage of time as the negative effects eventually trickle down to US consumers.

The US administration also launched a national security investigation last week into auto and truck imports, using the same 1962 law it has applied to curb incoming steel and aluminum. Trudeau said the tariffs were not created to hurt the American people, but rather defend Canada's interests and send a message to the Trump administration. It largely spares US farmers.

Canada, which is the largest supplies of steel to the U.S., has announced retaliatory worth £9.6bn and Mexico said it would match United States tariffs by raising duties on its farm and industrial exports.

The U.S. measures, aimed at Canada, Mexico and the European Union, are illegal and counterproductive, said Freeland.

"It would be a great pity if we ended up in a tit-for-tat trade dispute with our closest allies".

EU members have given broad support to a European Commission plan to set duties on 2.8 billion euros ($A4.3.billion) of U.S. exports if Washington ends the tariff exemption. America, however, claims its tariffs are in the name of national security and that retaliation is therefore unjustified.

"It all depends on how the various parties react to the circumstances".

Mexico announced what it described as "equivalent" measures on a wide range of US farm and industrial products, including pork legs, apples, grapes and cheese as well as steel and other goods.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, the steelworkers' union, said: "The problems of steel dumping will not be solved by unfair tariffs and steelworkers in the United Kingdom and US must not fall into the trap of believing rhetoric from the likes of Donald Trump". We think a trade war is in nobody's interests. "He doesn't seem to get that his bluster and his bullying are costing people real jobs - in his own country, in Canada and in Ontario", Wynne said.

'And I believe in the word reciprocal.

'And we're going to have it for our workers and for our companies. The decision was said to take effect from midnight on Thursday.

Beer, iPhones and plane tickets are all likely to get more expensive in the next few months thanks to President Donald Trump.

"This is Trump versus the world, rather than Trump versus Canada".

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