Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Canada responds to U.S. tariffs with its own 'countermeasures'

President Donald Trump speaks during a Memorial Day President Donald Trump speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Va. on Monday
Scott Davis | 31 May, 2018, 21:58

This decision was made under section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Thursday.

Mexico, the European Union and Canada immediately announced plans to retaliate with their own tariffs against American products.

Ross said he's looking forward to "continued negotiations" with Canada, Mexico and European Union "because there are other issues" that need to be resolved.

But European officials are increasingly irritated by Trump's aggressive use of obscure provisions in USA trade laws against US allies. The move marks the Trump administration's most aggressive trade action yet against major US trading partners, which had been fighting for permanent relief. "It's not about who attacks whom, and then wait and see who is still standing at the end".

A 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminium will be imposed on imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico starting at midnight (0400 GMT on Friday), Ross told reporters.

The US government is about to impose Canada with tariffs on its steel and aluminum imports.

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 EU members, has said the bloc should be permanently exempted from the tariffs since it was not the cause of overcapacity in steel and aluminium.

"Today is a bad day for world trade", European Union trade chief Cecila Malmstrom said after Thursday's announcement that the tariffs would finally take effect.




Fears of a global trade war are already weighing on investor confidence and could hinder the global economic upturn.

While the tariffs have had "major, positive effects" on industry jobs and workers, "the Trump Administration's actions underscore its commitment to good-faith negotiations with our allies to enhance our national security while supporting American workers", the White House said in a statement.

"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". We think on the contrary that global trade must have rules in a context of multilateralism. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. "We've been down this road before-blanket protectionism is a big part of why America had a Great Depression".

Mexico has also responded, promising to slap tariffs on USA products including pork bellies, grapes, apples, and flat steel.

On CTV News Channel, Aluminum Association of Canada Chief Executive Jean Simard called the US move "unfortunate", and also called the national security argument a "non-issue", explaining that the two countries are highly integrated when it comes to defence supply. That hurts the companies and can lead to more expensive consumer prices, economists say.

"This is a bad day for world trade", Juncker said. "Nothing", French President Emmanuel Macron said in an impassioned speech Wednesday.

"These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term", Macron said.

The E.U. has promised to meet the American tariffs with retaliatory duties on a wide range of USA exports from politically sensitive regions - including bourbon made in Mitch McConnell's Kentucky and Harley-Davidson motorcycles manufactured in Paul Ryan's Wisconsin.

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