Saturday, 22 September, 2018

U.S. allies hit back over steel and aluminium tariffs

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of an EU summit in Brussels on Friday U.S. allies hit back over steel and aluminium tariffs
Jodi Jackson | 02 June, 2018, 08:26

Canada, the European Union and Mexico now face a steep 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum starting at midnight.

The European Union is planning to answer USA tariffs on steel and aluminum by hiking tariffs on various goods coming from America.

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

"These problems are much more urgent than quarterly meetings with no real, factual result", he explained.

This morning, President Trump announced that he was imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum.

A Commerce Department investigation earlier this year determined a need to ensure adequate US steel production capacity to supply the military.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is not seeking re-election, said he disagrees with the decision.

International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says he doesn't want to compare the softwood lumber and metals industries, even though both key sectors of the Canadian economy face import tariffs. It could also place the United States in a trade dispute on more than one front.

Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the USA, will impose retaliatory tariffs covering $C16.6 billion in imports from the U, including whiskey, orange juice, steel, aluminium and other products, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

The Wolfsburg-based company is calling for dialogue between the US and the European Union within recognized World Trade Organization principles "in order to prevent any long-term economic damage".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the move "totally unacceptable", while in London a spokesperson for Theresa May said the British government was "deeply disappointed". 'All of these countries including the European Union, they charge five times the tariff. they charge five times what we charge for tariffs, ' he said.

The U.S. had delayed the national security-based tariffs on Canada and Mexico while the three nations renegotiated the NAFTA trade deal.

Ottawa would impose $12.8 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on USA goods such as steel and aluminum as well as consumer goods like maple syrup, pizza, and toilet paper, according to a list published by Canada's Department of Finance. "We will always stand up for our workers".

"What they can do, we are able to do exactly the same", Juncker said.

'And other countries understand, you know, when I talk to them they look at me - and this is in closed doors, not for you people, and they essentially say, 'We can't believe we've gotten away with this for so long.' It's like you guys can't believe you've gotten away with it for so long, ' the president said.

Fears of a global trade war are mounting as the Trump administration also considers tariffs on U.S. auto imports and duties on US$50 billion in Chinese goods.

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