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USA slaps tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium

01 June 2018

News reports suggest that Mexico has already retaliated and will impose equivalent measures on a diverse product list, including flat steel and some pork products.

"This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between long-standing partners, friends and allies", she said.

On Thursday, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28 EU member countries would challenge the tariffs and "impose their own balancing import duties on USA goods like Florida orange juice, and bourbon whiskey".

Back in March, Malmstrom said her tit-for-tat list included iconic USA products such as Levi jeans, bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice. It will also lodge a case with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"Without a strong economy, you can't have a strong national security, ' he said".

European Union officials previously informed the World Trade Organization of the bloc's plan to levy duties on $7.2 billion worth of US exports if the Trump administration proceeded with threats to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. "We have to believe that at some point common sense will prevail, but we see no sign of that with this action today". "We are awaiting their reaction".

Some €6.4bn worth of European Union exports are expected to be affected by the USA tariffs.

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The shares of American steel producers, which have supported the tariffs, rose across the board on Thursday. "With the expiration of the European Union exemption now confirmed to take effect tomorrow [June 1], unfortunately, our pessimism was justified, and we will now see damage not only to the United Kingdom steel sector but also the USA economy". U.S. Steel Corp., AK Steel Holding Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc. all gained in NY.

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"We must ensure our markets are not destabilised by millions of tonnes of steel being diverted away from the USA and into Europe", Henrik Adam, chief commercial officer of Tata Steel in Europe, said in a statement. The U.S. produced 785,000 metric tons of aluminum and imported 5 million tons a year ago.

Europe has been bracing for the place the restrictions even as top European officials have held last-ditch talks in Paris with American trade officials to try to avert the tariffs.

The Trump administration is making good on its threat to slap Canada with hefty steel and aluminum tariffs, setting the stage for a possible trade war and leaving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the middle of a very divided group of leaders at next week's G7 summit.

"We will now see damage not only to the United Kingdom steel sector, but also the U.S. economy".

"That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable", MrTrudeau said.

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In March, Trump imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium, but granted temporary exemptions to the EU, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Argentina. The tariffs will officially take effect for these markets at 12.01 a.m. on Friday.

In the case of Canada and Mexico, Ross said the decision was based on a lack of progress in the ongoing talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement. The government of Theresa May had pinned post-Brexit hopes on securing a trade deal with the US, and the imposition of tariffs on steel is adding to fears that negotiating a quick trade liberalization agreement with Trump looks increasingly unlikely.

And no matter what, American companies will still need to import steel and aluminum. The action was mainly targeted at China over accusations of flooding the global market with cut-rate metals and dragging down prices.

The decision seems purely political, insofar as the Trump administration failed to secure any meaningful concessions from China during the recent trade spat, and so a "win" elsewhere was likely sought after.

The White House is also employing national security as a justification to investigate auto imports.

"Those talks are taking longer than we had hoped".

"If any of these parties does retaliate that does not mean there can not be continuing negotiations", Ross said.

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USA slaps tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium