White House revives steel and aluminium tariffs against EU

President Donald Trump during a bill signing ceremony at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Building in Washington

President Donald Trump during a bill signing ceremony at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Building in Washington

The European Union, Canada and Mexico said Thursday that they will respond to new United States tariffs on steel and aluminum with punitive measures targeting American products worth billions of dollars.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.

"We will now trigger a dispute settlement case at the WTO, since these USA measures clearly go against agreed worldwide rules".

He says the USA action leaves the European Union with no choice but to proceed with a case in the World Trade Organization.

Canada: Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that Canada would impose retaliatory tariffs on United States goods including steel, aluminium, and more - up to a value of $US16.6 billion.

Mexico announced it will retaliate with duties on United States products including fruit, pork bellies, cheese and flat steel.

"We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have discussions with all those parties", Mr Ross said. Hurting US manufacturers even further, the countries hit by the tariffs will also tax imported US products.

The United Kingdom's trade secretary said the tariffs were "patently absurd".

The European Union is planning retaliatory tariffs on US steel and food goods in the coming weeks, once it calculates the exact cost to European Union companies of the USA tariffs.

Although the USA has said the tariffs are being applied for national security reasons, the economy secretary argued that steel and aluminum are integral supplies in highly integrated strategic sectors of the North American economy, such as the automotive, aerospace, electric and electronic industries.

"As to Canada, Mexico, you will recall that the reason for the deferral had been pending the outcome of the NAFTA talks", he said.

Incidentally, this strategy willfully violates US commitments as a member of the World Trade Organization - so it's illegal as well as counterproductive. Trump, however, ultimately made a decision to roll out the full 25 percent additional tariff on steel, and 10 percent on aluminum as originally threatened.

They include a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium imports.

"This is a very strong Canadian action in response to a very bad US decision". "Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the USA defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks".

The Trump administration says it is imposing a 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel and 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum starting at midnight tonight, ostensibly because of national-security concerns. After ten years nursing the world's markets back to health from the financial crash of 2008, "a trade war is the last thing the global economy needs right now", Lynn says.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the sanctions from Paris, where he had been negotiating with European Union leaders who were trying to avert the tariffs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the U.S. levies "totally unacceptable" and an "affront" to Canada, warning that a trade war would harm the economies of both countries.

Trump had been widely expected to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after failing to win concessions from the European Union. Even if the USA was able to produce larger amounts of both metals, tariffs push up the cost of domestically produced materials, as well - making it a lose-lose situation for consumers and businesses, said White. "From the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan, we have fought and died together", Trudeau said in a Thursday speech.

Mexico retaliated nearly immediately against U.S. "We will respond appropriately", she said. "They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!" the President tweeted.

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