U.S. to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico

U.S. to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico

The tariffs were originally announced on March 1 when President Donald Trump said that the United States was being treated unfairly.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a member of the U.S. trade delegation to China, returns to a hotel in Beijing, China May 3, 2018.

That exemption was due to expire on Friday.

More details to follow ...

Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron made their cases separately Wednesday to dissuade Trump, who is using a national-security clause in USA trade law to justify the move.

Malmstrom is meeting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Paris on Thursday among other global trade chiefs. The people familiar with the talks said Trump could make an announcement as early as Thursday.

Ross said the White House would need to see the reactions of Canada, Mexico and the 28-nation European bloc before determining what to do next.

USA and European officials held last-ditch talks in Paris to try to reach a deal, though hopes are low and fears of a trade war are mounting. He said he planned to travel to China on Friday for trade talks between the world's two biggest economies.

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If he does impose the tariffs, the European Union has vowed to hit back with its own tariffs on American goods, including iconic items such as Harley-Davidson motorbikes, blue jeans and bourbon whiskey.

On Wednesday, the Trudeau government said it would take additional steps to prevent foreign steel and aluminum from being dumped into the North American market - news that appeared created to try to head off the tariff decision.

Ross told reporters that talks with Canada and Mexico over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were "taking longer than we had hoped".

One source close to the NAFTA negotiations said Ms. Freeland informed Mr. Lighthizer that ending Canada's exemption on steel and aluminum tariffs would be a clear signal that the Americans are not that interested in reaching a NAFTA deal.

"The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the USA and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium", the United Kingdom said in a statement.

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 U.S. tariffs.

Europe did not want a trade war, he said, but Washington had to back down from "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe tariffs". "We are ready to rebuild this multilateralism with our American friends", he said.