Global News

Trudeau slaps retaliatory tariffs on US

Trudeau slaps retaliatory tariffs on US

President Donald Trump's administration is planning to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after failing to win concessions from the European Union, a move that could provoke retaliatory tariffs and inflame trans-Atlantic trade tensions.

Canada has today announced retaliatory surcharges responding to USA tariffs imposed today on Canadian steel and aluminum.

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. Throughout these talks, the U.S. has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the EU. "This is protectionism, pure and simple", Juncker said.

That announcement came about a month after the Canada Border Services Agency was granted extra powers to identify businesses that try to dodge import duties and ship cheap foreign steel and aluminum through the Canadian market.

UK Steel said the tariffs will "see damage not only to the UK steel sector, but also the U.S. economy". Temporary exemptions were granted to a number of nations and permanent ones to several countries including Australia, Argentina and South Korea.

When asked if the USA tariffs represented the beginning of a trade war, Trudeau responded that Canada will continue to put pressure on the US and attempt to convince Trump that imposing the measures will put an undeniable strain on their relationship.

The EU has threatened to retaliate with tariffs on Harley Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, measures aimed at the political bases of Republican legislators who they wanted to stand up to Trump.

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On Thursday, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28 EU member countries would challenge the tariffs and "impose their own balancing import duties on U.S. goods like Florida orange juice, and bourbon whiskey".

Officials failed to reach a deal to avert the levy before the exemption expires, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters on Thursday.

"We take the view that without a strong economy, you can not have strong national security", Ross told reporters. So naturally, on Thursday the Trump administration took a dramatic step to disrupt United States exports and pour ice water on the economy. "As stated time and time again, the only sustainable solution to the root cause of the issue, global overcapacity in steel production, is multilateral discussions and action through established worldwide channels".

The countermeasures will take effect on July 1.

Stocks in the U.S. fell as the administration ignored the pleas from business lobbying groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to forego tariffs. And it won't be on USA steel and aluminum - it will be on Harley Davidson motorcycles, California almonds, Levis and Jack Daniels. Malmstrom is meeting US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Paris today among other worldwide trade chiefs.

"The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organization rules".

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


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