U.S. at odds with allies over tariffs at G7 meeting: Canada

Jun 03, 2018, 21:19
U.S. at odds with allies over tariffs at G7 meeting: Canada

Trudeau's comments came after President Donald Trump enacted the most severe economic penalties he has imposed to date against USA allies, establishing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Trudeau slammed the United States for the move, saying "these tariffs are totally unacceptable".

On Thursday, Washington slapped its allies with import tariffs on steel and aluminum, after it failed to win concessions from its trading partners.

"This is not about the American people", Trudeau said of his retaliatory tariffs, placing blame squarely on the White House.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told Mnuchin the U.S. tariffs would harm both countries and should be rescinded, repeating declarations made in public, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

President Trump on Friday said he "wouldn't mind" breaking up the North American Free Trade Agreement and replacing it by entering into separate trade pacts with Canada and with Mexico.

On Friday, Trump appeared to double down, saying Canada had treated USA farmers "very poorly for a very long period of time".

They will remain in place until the United States eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada, Freeland said.

"We still have a few days to take the necessary steps to avoid a trade war between the European Union and the USA, and to avoid a trade war among G7 members", Le Maire told journalists, following a meeting of the G7 finance ministers in Canada's mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia.

It is not clear what the British response would be, although International Trade Secretary Liam Fox signaled that the United Kingdom was ready for "tit-for-tat" action, telling Sky News that British steel "is vital for their businesses and their defense industry", adding "it is patently absurd".

Freeland says the countermeasures, which apply to a long list of USA products from flat-rolled steel to playing cards and felt-tipped pens, will go into effect July 1.

"We believe in the G7... and I'm sure the President looks forward to coming to Canada and meeting all the other leaders with many, many important issues going on throughout the world".

The EU, which has sole control over trade policy for all 28 EU member states, has formally complained about the USA tariffs at the WTO.

Mexico also plans to retaliate on USA farms and products like pork legs, apples and cheese...

The Republican lawmaker said Trump's actions will "raise prices on businesses" in the North Country and could cause Canadian firms to leave the region.

Canada and Mexico's retaliatory tariffs on steel could prove particularly damaging to the US steel industry. However, on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence called Canada and informed them of a sunset clause.

"It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States".

NAFTA came into full force in 1994, and the latest discussions with the USA administration are the largest proposed renegotiations in the continental free trade agreement's history. The $800 billion figure represents the total value of goods imported by the U.S.in 2017.

"FAIR TRADE!" read one tweet by Trump Thursday.