Canada's Trudeau blasts "totally unacceptable" Trump tariffs, announces counter-tariffs

01 June, 2018, 16:19 | Author: Kim Reid
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross leaves his hotel in Beijing

President Donald Trump announced that the European Union, Canada, and Mexico would soon be subject to steel and aluminium tariffs.

The EU "will react firmly" to defend its interests against steep U.S. trade tariffs on steel and aluminium, the European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday (1 March).

Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox labelled the move "patently absurd" and confirmed the United Kingdom "absolutely does not rule out counter measures". "It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States", she said.

The Canadian government announced countermeasures to the USA -imposed tariffs shortly after the decision, which include tariffs on steel and aluminum as well as various other food and goods.

The Trump administration's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs against allies Canada and Mexico throws the latest wrench into talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which started a year ago and had already hit roadblocks in May.

"The government of Canada is confident that shared values, geography and common interests will ultimately overcome protectionism", Trudeau said.

"We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved", he said.

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Algoma was ready to move out of creditor protection with a potential sale, but some worry that now lenders could use the tariffs as a way to renegotiate the deal.

The trade actions have also opened the criticism that it's burning bridges just as Trump is seeking to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons and help stabilize the Middle East.

Exports: About half of Canada's production is exported, mostly to the U.S.

Canada is a secure supplier of aluminium and steel to the United States defense industry, putting aluminium in American planes and steel in American tanks. He said: "We chose also some symbolic products like Harley-Davidson to make clear here is a red card". Late on Thursday the United States president issued a statement about North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), over which Washington has been embroiled with Canada and Mexico.

What happens next? The EU, Canada and Mexico have said they will take the case to the WTO, triggering the organization's dispute settlement mechanism. A USA delegation arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for preliminary talks to establish the outlines for the weekend negotiations.

"The claims the administration is making is they're doing it for national security reasons, but we're your closest friend, partner and ally", said George, who spoke with MLive during the Mackinac Policy Conference Thursday.

The tariffs are expected to affect European Union exports that were worth €6.4bn (£5.6bn) in 2017.

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Another Ontario city expecting to be impacted by the US tariffs is Sault Ste.

"This is the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the post-war era", Freeland said.

She added: "I don't think this is a trade war but we're in a very hard situation".

Labour's Barry Gardiner called for a reaction to USA levies on aluminium and steel from Europe and North America. "This is a bad day for world trade", he said.

Trump imposed the steel and aluminum penalties under a 1962 law that gives the president broad power to increase or reduce tariffs on goods deemed critical to national security. Dissatisfied with the negotiations, Trump lifted the exemptions, in a move likely to provoke counteraction from trade allies.

"When we pay more for steel than anybody else in the world, it's our members who lose business", said Paul Nathanson, spokesman for Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, which represents steel-consuming companies. It largely spares USA farmers.

"Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in world trade".

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