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

Anadolu Agency  Anadolu

Anadolu Agency Anadolu

President Donald Trump isn't softening his stance on tariffs for steel and aluminum imports.

Still, Trudeau moved ahead with retaliatory tariffs against the USA on products ranging from metals to mayonnaise.

Getting rid of the exemptions for Canada and Mexico could also complicate ongoing negotiations on NAFTA. He has frequently threatened to withdraw the United States from the deal, but thus far he has opted to stay in while attmempting to negotiate a new deal between the member countries.

The United States will be slapping tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum effective midnight tonight.

The EU threatened to make good on a threat it issued in March to impose tariffs on imports from the USA that is 10 pages long, including everything from corn and tobacco, to T-shirts, Levi's jeans, bourbon, motor boats and various forms of steel.

Trump also claimed nations admit in closed door meetings they are taking advantage of the USA, then compared them to the media, a group he regularly trashes.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and several other world leaders, are not pulling any punches in the worldwide blowback to President Donald Trump's decision to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. But the broader market sank because of trade war fears.

The US tariffs coincide with and could complicate the Trump administration's separate fight over Beijing's strong-arm tactics to overtake US technological supremacy and negotiations to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"I had to highlight that there was no possibility of any Canadian prime minister signing a NAFTA deal that included a five-year sunset clause, and obviously the visit didn't happen", Trudeau said on Thursday.

Canada is preparing "a whole series of options" to retaliate, a Canadian official told the Toronto Star.

His saber rattling came after his chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said it was a "trade discussion" and 'not a trade war.

The administration has argued that foreign production of steel and aluminium has driven down prices and hurt U.S. producers, creating what the Commerce Department has called a national security threat.

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"That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States in inconceivable".

Trudeau added that Toronto will levy tariffs on USA products worth about $13 billion (approximately Rs 87,426 crore) from July 1. Mexico was the third largest, behind South Korea.

Ross said talks with the European Union had failed to reach a satisfactory agreement to convince Washington to continue the exemption from the tariffs imposed in March.

"If any of these parties does retaliate that does not mean there can not be continuing negotiations", Ross said.

The decision seems purely political, insofar as the Trump administration failed to secure any meaningful concessions from China during the recent trade spat, and so a "win" elsewhere was likely sought after. Last year, Bay State businesses exported almost $3 billion in goods to Canada and another $2.5 billion to Mexico.

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