Europe expects to be hit by U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum

Aaron Brown
June 3, 2018

Trump announced in March the United States would slap a 25 percent tariff on imported steel, and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, citing national security interests.

Late Thursday, President Donald Trump said in a statement it was made clear to Trudeau that the U.S. "will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all".

"We are alienating all of our friends and partners at a time when we could really use their support", said Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade negotiator who is now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

"NAFTA needs updating", he said, "but tearing it up is not the answer".

The European Union is seeking exemptions on the steel and aluminum tariffs, which Trump hopes will revive domestic US industry but which could hurt American business activity overseas.

Canada has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on the USA on items including agricultural products, which could hit rural areas of the U.S., where Trump has many supporters.

Mnuchin rejected comments from some G-7 officials that the United States was circumventing worldwide trade rules with the tariffs or ceding global economic leadership.

Udall's speech came at the Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel.

Trump's trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - have drawn global denunciation.

Officials at the G7 meeting said the tariffs made it more hard for the group to work together to confront China's trade practices, especially when Beijing, like most G7 members, supports the current World Trade Organization-based trade rules and the United States is seeking to go around them.

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These items include yogurt, coffee, sugar, toilet paper, sailboats, mattresses, washing machines and lawn mowers - all aimed at exerting pressure on key USA states that export a lot to Canada.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, whom Ross was scheduled to meet in Paris on Thursday morning, said on Wednesday that the European Union did not want a trade war either but would respond if Washington imposed tariffs.

He said: "I am sure that there are chips on both sides that can get traded to make the problem go away".

Asserting that he likes free trade, but wants fair trade, US President Donald Trump warned that he could impose reciprocal tariff on other countries.

The United States, Trump said, was negotiating numerous deals, adding, "We're talking about NAFTA".

Mexico has already retaliated by levying measures on USA farm and industrial products, targeting pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses.

Malmstrom is meeting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Paris on Thursday among other global trade chiefs.

In an op-ed for CNN, Sachs, who runs Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Development, blasted Trump's decision this week to implement stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that angered top USA allies including Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU).

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe". "The US economy will suffer as much as any other economy".

Mr Le Maire said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was not surprised when confronted about the tariffs inside the talks.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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