Trump Imposes Tariffs On EU, Canada, And Mexico: Trade War Looms

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The US steel and aluminium tariffs were imposed early on Friday after Canada, Mexico and the European Union refused to accept quotas in negotiations with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The tariffs pulled focus away from the pre-selected, overarching themes for the Whistler meeting - topics that closely line up with key domestic policy areas promoted by the federal Liberal government.

Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said in a letter to Trudeau Monday the prime minister's comments were "quite worrisome", and "deeply troubling for our dairy farmers", given repeated pledges of support by Trudeau and his lawmakers for the sector.

Bruno Le Maire, France's economy and finance minister, said a G7 trade war should be avoided. "I want to make it clear", Le Maire said, "that it is up to the U.S. administration to make the right decisions to alleviate the situation and ease the difficulties". Those days are over, he added.

"We need to demonstrate that as a sovereign nation we're in charge of our affairs and we can't accept that someone damages our economy for reasons that make no sense", said Morneau, who insisted he doesn't know the American motivation behind the tariffs.

The United States on Thursday said it was moving ahead to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium, starting at midnight (0400 GMT on Friday), ending months of uncertainty about potential exemptions and sending a chill through financial markets. Japanese metal producers have been paying the tariffs since March 23. The White House Office of Management and Budget expects tariffs to fetch $40.4 billion this year.

The finance ministers from the six non-U.S. members of the G-7 issued a statement Saturday criticizing the trade actions taken by the Trump administration.

Trump tweeted, "When you're nearly 800 Billion Dollars a year down on Trade, you can't lose a Trade War!" "Highly restrictive on trade!" the president wrote on Twitter. Special restrictions related to the trade. Chairing a meeting on Friday, Morneau allowed participants to register grievances with Mnuchin one at a time, according to a Canadian source. "It was not. We believe in the G7, it's an important group", Mnuchin said at his own news conference.

"The global community is faced with significant economic and security issues, which are best addressed through a united front from G7 countries", the statement said. "These are our most important allies or some of our most important allies".

The strong language sets the stage for a hard meeting in one week when the heads of state of the G-7 will meet in Charlevoix, Quebec, signaling a clear intention of other member nations to confront the USA over its recent trade policies.

The Trump administration wants the tariffs to boost the US steel and aluminum industries, but critics say they could make American products more expensive.

The EU responded that it will likewise impose high import duties on a "number of imports from the United States". But Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said there was "no longer a very precise date" as to when talks would end and that the tariffs went into effect at midnight Thursday as a result.

According to European Union officials, the American exports targeted in the initial wave of European Union retaliatory tariffs are worth roughly 2.8 billion euros (USD 3.3 billion) annually, as per the report.

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