Trump's 25% steel tariff angers world leaders and business

31 May, 2018, 21:57 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • President Donald Trump speaks during a Memorial Day

The Trump administration announced Thursday it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies.

The Trump administration announced it is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, in a move nearly certain to trigger retaliation by America's closest allies.

Trump imposed the steel and aluminum penalties under a 1962 law that gives the president broad power to increase or reduce tariffs on goods deemed critical to national security.

Mexico retaliated with "equivalent" measures on farm and industrial products, targeting pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel.

She calls the USA measures illegal and counterproductive.

Last week, Trump ordered the Commerce Department to conduct a national security investigation into foreign auto imports.

President Donald Trump announced in March global tariffs of 25% on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum, based on national security concerns.

But the U.S.is pressing ahead nonetheless, a long-threatened tactic sure to cast a pall over the G7 summit Trudeau is hosting next week in Quebec. Nucor Corp., the biggest USA steel producer, rose 0.6 per cent to US$64.49. Mexico quickly announced it would impose penalties on a list of US goods.

In response, European Union chief Juncker said the U.S. tariffs decision leaves the bloc with "no choice" but to impose counter-measures and pursue a case in the World Trade Organisation.

Juncker said the European Union will introduce a settlement dispute at the World Trade Organization and announce "counterbalancing measures".

But the European Union refused, repeatedly insisting that it must be permanently exempted from the new tariffs before any further negotiations could take place.

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The countermeasures will take effect on July 1.

In an interview with CNBC, Ross, speaking from Paris, said he did not believe that the tariffs would have much impact on the American economy, and that he did not think there would be be a long-term impact on relations with affected countries, saying they "will get over this in due course".

"The decision announced today is a significant threat to the 22,000 Canadian households whose livelihoods are directly supported by employment in Canadian steel", said Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

Ross himself heads to Beijing on Friday where he will attempt to get firm deals to export more USA goods in a bid to cut America's $375 billion trade deficit with China.

European officials had assumed that Trump would follow through with duties on their exports (negotiations over the Iran deal having already convinced them that trying to dissuade the US president from scoring diplomatic own-goals was a futile enterprise).

It's a bad day for world trade.

Friction between the United States and its trading partners have roiled financial markets, especially after President Donald Trump in March chose to impose the metal tariffs.

After months in which it appeared the Trump administration had been backing away from tariffs amid infighting between the president's top economic advisers, Washington has over the past week ramped up its threats on trade.

That means that President Donald Trump will be face to face with a number of leaders who have taken retaliatory action against the US when he makes his closely watched Canadian debut at the G7 next week in Quebec.

Potentially massive. The world is now closer to a full-scale trade war than at any time since the 1930s, when the American Smoot-Hawley tariff prompted a domino effect among other industrialised nations. "There is a feeling that if we respond too strongly, this will escalate, and that would damage everyone, but Europe would damaged most of all".

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