Trump to remove tariff exemption from EU, Canada, Mexico

Donald Trump USA EU trade war European Union Theresa May Emmanuel Macron

It didn't take long for the European Union, Canada, and Mexico to hit back at the United States after the Trump administration announced the three key allies would soon be subject to steel and aluminum tariffs.

The CBI stress there are no winners in a trade war, which will damage prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. "At the same time, the Trump Administration's actions underscore its commitment to good-faith negotiations with our allies to enhance our national security while supporting American workers", she continued.

25 per cent on imported steel, 10 per cent on aluminum - would take effect Friday.

Economists say the standoff with the European Union could tip toward a trade war, particularly after Trump last week launched another national security investigation into vehicle and truck imports that could lead to new USA tariffs.

"These tariffs could lead to a protectionist domino effect, damaging firms, employees and consumers in the USA, UK and many other trading partners", says Digby.

President Donald Trump's administration has threatened to impose tariffs on vehicle imports, is engaged in negotiations with China to reduce America's yawning trade deficit and has said it will punish Beijing for stealing its technology by imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China.

The European Commission's president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Trump's decision amounted to trade protectionism and that Europe would respond with countermeasures.

Brussels previously threatened to slap tariffs on U.S. products including bourbon, motorcycles and blue jeans. The EU shares many of Washington's concerns about China's efforts to acquire advanced technology through compulsory licensing practices, cybertheft and other measures.

President Donald Trump announced in March that the United States would impose tariffs of 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and 10 per cent on imported aluminum, citing national security interests.

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

The Mexican measures target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel - products from USA heartland states that supported Trump in the 2016 election.

Canada was the largest exporter of steel to the United States by value a year ago, according to data from Wood Mackenzie. Throughout these talks, the U.S. has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the EU.

The world's two biggest economies have threatened to impose tariffs on up to $200 billion worth of each other's products.

Last week, Trump said that Canada is "very spoiled" and "very hard to deal with" in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

Mr. Trump, in his proclamation announcing the new tariffs, said he did it to protect national security. But the NAFTA talks stalled.

"During an OECD trade forum in Paris on Wednesday, Mr. Ross had criticised the European Union for blocking trade negotiations because of the tariffs issue, pointing to China which he said had continued to negotiate on a trade deal".

France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe".

He is pressing ahead with 25% percent tariffs on $50bn in Chinese goods, even after last week saying that dispute was "on hold", and 25% tariffs on auto imports, which is likely to spark a fierce reaction from the European Union as well.

"Many specialty steel and aluminum materials imported by motor vehicle suppliers are used by hundreds of vehicle parts manufacturers operating in an integrated, complex global supply chain".

Prices started rising even before all the tariffs kicked in. The higher cost meant it lost out this year to a Chinese company on a contract to branch out into a new market: making food-processing equipment. "That's why we consult", Freeland said Thursday.

The US is to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from allies in Europe and North America.

Measured purely in dollars, the tariffs don't amount to much in America's $20 trillion economy.

The Trump administration is turning to a little-used weapon in trade policy: Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

Last week, Trump ordered the Commerce Department to conduct a national security investigation into foreign auto imports.

The Canadian dollar weakened against its USA counterpart on Thursday, reversing much of its gains from the day before, after data showed weaker-than-expected growth in the domestic economy and US tariffs dented prospects for NAFTA trade pact talks.

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