Canada to impose tariff 'countermeasures' on US

A steel factory in Germany

After months of negotiation, the Trump administration finally imposed much-talked about tariffs Thursday morning on the United States' closest allies-Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

Before the exemption was granted in March, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Mexico and Canada could be spared from the measure "if a new and fair NAFTA agreement is signed".

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said there wasn't enough progress in discussions with the European Union over trade concessions and Canada and Mexico on rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement to give them permanent exemptions from the metals tariffs.

The EU had "no choice" but to bring a case before the World Trade Organization and impose duties on USA imports, he added.

U.S. Commerce Department data show Canada is the top source of U.S. imports of steel and aluminum, while Mexico is the U.S.'s fourth-largest provider of steel and 10th-largest of aluminum.

"One can think about making voters happy by saying, 'I have a victory, I'll change the rules, you'll see.'" But Macron said those "who waged bilateral trade wars. saw an increase in prices and an increase in unemployment".

"The decision to impose tariffs is unexpected and unfortunate in the case of Canada and Mexico", said Bill Reinsch, senior adviser at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"That is not the basis on which mature adults negotiate", Beatty said.

The EU's measures will target an as far undisclosed list of USA products "at a level that will reflect the damage caused by the new USA trade restrictions on EU products".

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Back in March, Malmstrom said her tit-for-tat list included iconic U.S. products such as Levi jeans, bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed her opposition even before the US announcement, saying the looming tariffs were incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.

Walid Hejazi, an associate professor of global business at the University of Toronto explained it this way, "When Canadians import products from the US that have steel in them, they'll pay a higher price", he said.

Mexico responded it would levy penalties on a list of USA goods, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU would do the same. Manfred Weber, a key ally of the German chancellor and leader of the biggest bloc in the European Parliament, accused the Trump administration of treating American allies as enemies. A similar finding was issued regarding aluminum imports. He estimated the US tariffs would affect $4 billion in trade between the two countries.

"The UK Government must support EU safeguards to protect our industry and ensure more dumped steel does not end up on European shores".

The head of the World Trade Organization is expressing "very real concern" about rising trade tensions and the risk of escalation.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, campaigning in advance of the June 7 provincial election, savaged the USA president as she called the tariff measure short-sighted and urged Trudeau "to take the strongest retaliation possible to protect our workers" and industry.

It prompted threats of retaliation from the European Union on USA products before the policy was abandoned.

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