Published: Sun, June 03, 2018

USA allies vow to fight tariffs plan, warn of trade war

USA allies vow to fight tariffs plan, warn of trade war

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.

May also noted that the European Union and United Kingdom "should be permanently exempted from tariffs" and Britain would work with the bloc to protect and safeguard workers and industries.

"Trudeau uttered some of the harshest words a prime minister has directed at an American administration in decades", said Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hebert, calling this a "watershed moment in the Donald Trump-era Canada/US relationship".

The two sides will discuss the matter and try to reach a deal.

The director of trade body UK Steel, Gareth Stace, said he was "very, very worried" about the potential impact of a "double whammy" on British producers from the Trump administration's decision.

However, the Canadian industry has been less damaged than had been anticipated as duties imposed by the USA government have been passed on to US consumers in the form of higher prices.

Mexico complained that the tariffs will "distort worldwide trade" and said it will penalize US imports including pork, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

"The more Trump is irritating allies and asking Chinese to buy stuff, the better off they are, because he's not sitting there and attacking the hard issues", the person said.

Donald Trump's decision to hit European Union steel and aluminium imports to the USA with tariffs is "unjustified", Theresa May has said. "It is pure protectionism".


But the European Commission, which handles trade policy for the EU´s 28 member states, also targeted China, sending a message to Washington that it was not being singled out.

Plus, tariffs on metal imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico will be put into effect from Jun 1, as exemption offered earlier in the year lapsed. It's counterproductive, that any government that embarks on a protectionist path inflicts the most damage on itself.

Dr Merkel said the measure "risks touching off spirals of escalation that in the end hurt everyone".

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".

In addition to Volkswagen vehicles, the company produces Audi, Porsche, and multiple other brands.

The U.S. tariffs coincide with - and could complicate - the Trump administration's separate fight over Beijing's strong-arm tactics to overtake U.S. technological supremacy.

The European Union on Friday formally set in motion its trade retaliation against the United States tariffs, filing a request for consultations at the WTO, which oversees disputes on global trade. Macron pledged the riposte would be "firm" and "proportionate" and in line with World Trade Organization rules.

Trudeau on Thursday said he felt the U.S., Mexico and Canada were on the verge of a renegotiated NAFTA that he described as a "win, win, win" before the talks stalled after the Pence phone call.

Despite Trudeau's claim that Canada had reached an impasse with the U.S.in NAFTA talks, the official said the USA would continue to pursue negotiations, acknowledging that a "range of issues remain".

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