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U.S. to slap tariffs soon on steel, aluminum from EU

04 June 2018

President Trump announced the tariffs in March, but had given exemptions to the EU, Mexico, and Canada.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Friday: "We are living in times of geopolitical turbulence, and uncertainties, so the cooperation between European Union and China becomes even more important".

"The problem is that by taking that kind of unilateral action the United States is undermining the principle of multilateralism in global trade, so it becomes more hard to deal with other concerns ― like trade and market access practices in China", Dombrovskis said in an interview.

The EU threatened tariffs on Harley Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, measures aimed at the political bases of U.S. Republican legislators.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue warned in a letter to the body's board, and seen by Reuters, that current trade policies could threaten "economic progress" and cause the loss of more than 2 million jobs, mostly in states that voted for Trump and Republican candidates. The European Union and Canada have both pledged to retaliate.

She added: "This is something that has been imposed by the USA, we didn't ask for it".

Bruno Le Maire, France's minister of the economy and finance, said the US tariffs are "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky".

So, with the tariffs and retaliation, does this qualify as a 'trade war?'

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On late Thursday, Shadow Steel Minister Gill Furniss called the move a "recipe for disaster" as she said the British government's response so far had been "feeble" and "complacent".

The lesson to be learned by Canadian industry is that the disputes aren't about fact, subsidy or national security, said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council.

Malmstrom said over-production from China, not Europe, was to blame for the glut of steel that prompted the USA action.

"We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved", US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

"The world we live in is much more nuanced than that and supply chains can be quite complex".

"But as the CBI have said, we do not want a trade war which does more to harm United Kingdom industries and consumers".

"We have a huge problem with the American government, with the White House", Moisi said. Other nations could copy the USA move.

Even some Trump allies in Congress said the trade moves were misguided.

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Canada and the USA are closely integrated trading partners and Thursday's moves could cripple industries, including the auto sector, where supply chains are interconnected and goods pass back and forth across the border several times before they are finished.

"Over the long run, these tariffs will drive aluminum prices higher globally, increasing the cost of beer production for all brewers".

"Trade was discussed in the G7 in the context of risks to global economic growth and it was highlighted by quite a number of participants", Dombrovskis said.

"Obviously, the visit didn't happen", he said.

The World Trade Organisation's former chief, Pascal Lamy, also said the damage would likely be limited in concrete terms.

In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: "These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term".

As for the U.S.'s national security argument, Fox said, "In the case of the United Kingdom, we send steel to the USA that is vital to their defence industry; it is patently absurd".

The G7 ministers urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to deliver their message before leaders of the group's member countries meet next week in Quebec.

USA slaps tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium
Some €6.4bn worth of European Union exports are expected to be affected by the USA tariffs . The U.S. produced 785,000 metric tons of aluminum and imported 5 million tons a year ago .

U.S. to slap tariffs soon on steel, aluminum from EU