USA to push steel, aluminum tariffs; EU, Canada, Mexico pledge to retaliate
Jun 03, 2018, 21:14
The U.S. has bypassed WTO procedures and imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Friday, hitting Canada, Mexico and the European Union, even though the steel and aluminum over-capacity stems mainly from China.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who pushed the steel and NAFTA issues during her meeting on Tuesday in Washington with US trade czar Robert Lighthizer, has also made it clear that Canada would retaliate if the duties are imposed.
Europe is bracing for the United States to slap restrictions Thursday on imported steel and aluminum, a move that could provoke retaliatory tariffs and inflame trade tensions.
The EU is set to retaliate with tariffs on a range of USA goods from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to blue jeans and bourbon whiskey.
Freeland said Canada would challenge the U.S. tariffs under NAFTA's Chapter 20 and the WTO's dispute settlement process.
Besides the USA steel and aluminum tariffs, the Trump administration is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.
President Trump on Saturday blasted critics who accused him of starting a trade war, saying the US has been losing the trade war for years.
President Donald Trump on Friday floated the idea of replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement with two separate trade deals - one with Canada and one with Mexico - adding more uncertainly to trade talks between the three countries that appear to have ground to a halt.
While the tariffs being higher than expected could certainly have ramifications for United States businesses, experts say they would be permitted under worldwide law. They charge five times what we charge for tariffs.
But he said that those "who waged bilateral trade wars. saw an increase in prices and an increase in unemployment".
"Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to USA industry including in defence projects which bolster U.S. national security".
Brazil, Argentina and Australia have agreed to limit steel shipments to the U.S.in exchange for being spared the tariffs, the Commerce Department said. The $800 billion figure represents the total value of goods imported by the U.S.in 2017. Trudeau called this moment a turning point in the Canada-U.S. relationship.
"I don't think in any way the United States is abandoning its leadership in the global economy, quite the contrary".
The Trump administration announced Thursday that it would be implementing tariffs of steel and aluminum from Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
India on the other hand exports Dollars 761 million worth of steel to the USA, which is 2.6 per cent of the total import.
Mr Le Maire said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was not surprised when confronted about the tariffs inside the talks.
It came after the European Union said it would introduce retaliatory tariffs after Mr Trump's "illegal" and "dangerous" decision.
But the U.S.is pressing ahead nonetheless, a long-threatened tactic sure to cast a pall over the G7 summit Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hosting next week in Quebec.
The EU alone accounts for Dollars 5.9 billion or 20.6 per cent of the total steel imported into the US.
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