Trump's 25% steel tariff angers world leaders and business

31 May, 2018, 22:25 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking in Strasbourg this morning

The new tariffs will also affect US imports from Mexico and the European Union.

On March 1, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would impose a 25 percent global tariff on all imports of steel, and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said starting Friday, steel and aluminuim products from will be subject to the same tariffs as most other nations when imported into the USA.

"It's entirely up to USA authorities whether they want to enter into a trade conflict with their biggest partner, Europe", Le Maire told reporters after meeting Ross in Paris. Some observers say a G6-plus-one scenario is already shaping up, with Trump as the outlier.

And despite the picking and choosing of which allies that the USA decides to slap with these tariffs, Ross defended the US legal justification that they are being implemented under law meant to protect USA national security. Party operatives told CNN Thursday that they are fretting the ramifications of more trade talk, anxious that those countries could respond by targeting key USA exports, many of which come from districts that could decide the balance of the House in November.

Findings of section 232 investigations into the effect of steel and aluminum imports on the national security of the United States were released in January.

"That Canada could be considered a national-security threat to the United States is inconceivable", said Trudeau, adding that the people of the USA are not Canada's target, and that the federal government would far prefer that its hand not be forced. European Union exports potentially subject to US duties are worth 6.4 billion euros.

"The decision announced today is a significant threat to the 22,000 Canadian households whose livelihoods are directly supported by employment in Canadian steel", said Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

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"We believe that this combined package achieves the original objectives we set out, which was to constrict imports to a level to allow those industries that operate domestically to do so on a self-sustaining basis going forward".

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 USA goods like Florida orange juice, and bourbon whiskey".

President Trump has imposed a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, in a move that the President of the European Commission claimed could push Brussels closer to Moscow. "We will respond appropriately", she said.

US and European officials held last-ditch talks in Paris on Thursday to try to avert a deal, though hopes are low and fears of a trade war are mounting.

The EU has said it will retaliate by slapping tariffs on a range of high-profile American goods and will start a case against the U.S. at the World Trade Organisation, which polices global trade.

The decision, which comes just days after Trump broke a cease-fire in an escalating trade dispute with China, is certain to inflame relations and invite retaliation.

Ross is scheduled to go to China this weekend for a third round of negotiations. "There is no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded" so they were added to the tariff list, he said.

"Without a strong economy you can't have strong national security", Ross said.

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