Monday, 25 June, 2018

Eu Joins Global Battle Against Trump Tariff Onslaught

A worker inspects coiled steel at Dofasco in Hamilton Ont.					Tara Walton  Canadian Press A worker inspects coiled steel at Dofasco in Hamilton Ont. Tara Walton Canadian Press
Leonard Rios | 03 June, 2018, 04:47

The United States confirmed steel and aluminium tariffs would be levied on imports from long term allies Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

Trump's tweet comes a day after the US levelled steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, among other countries, and Ottawa retaliated with its own dollar-for-dollar countermeasures, including new taxes on steel, aluminum, and various other American products.

The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said Friday he was dumb founded by Washington's national security basis for the tariffs, given that USA and Canadian troops had fought together in World War II, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Countries around the world are fighting back against President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, announcing retaliatory countermeasures and warning that the US plan will hurt USA consumers.

Mexico said it was imposing wide-ranging "equivalent" measures, ratcheting up tensions during talks with Washington to renegotiate NAFTA and ahead of the USA mid-term elections.

In retaliation for the tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum, Trudeau announced Thursday that Canada will impose $16.6 billion worth of "countermeasures" that hit a range of USA products, from flat-rolled steel to playing cards.

German MEP Bernd Lange, who chairs the European Union's worldwide trade committee, has said the tariffs are "illegal" and insisted the EU would "make some countermeasures, no doubt about".

She added her voice to calls for British and European products to be exempt from the charges, saying they contributed to United States national security projects.

Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci, also speaking to Radio 4, said with Mr Trump there was "always room for negotiation".

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The spokesperson said the government stands by its analysis that the total value of the goods subject to tariffs is 16.6 billion Canadian dollars.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters he had let Mnuchin know the tariffs were "unacceptable".

Freeland and the Canadian government pegged the total value of the goods subject to the Canadian tariffs at 16.6 billion Canadian dollars, or roughly $12.8 billion United States dollars.

"We were not at the negotiating table".

He said: "There could potentially be thousands of job losses".

Freeland said Canada would challenge the United States tariffs under NAFTA's Chapter 20 and the WTO's dispute settlement process. Investors should note that about 22% of US pork is exported out of which Mexico buys the maximum.

The United Kingdom, meanwhile, which is still tied to the European Union for years to come during a Brexit "transition period", said it was disappointed and would work with the US and European Union to achieve a permanent exemption, but backed away from aggressive language and threats of retaliation.

Trudeau added that Canada would impose dollar for dollar tariffs on steel, aluminium and other products.

Bruno Le Maire, France's economy and finance minister, said a G7 trade war should be avoided.

"The American administration has made a decision today that we deplore and obviously is going to lead to retaliatory measures, as it must", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference with Freeland on Thursday. David O'Sullivan, the EU's ambassador in Washington, said the retaliation will probably be announced in late June. "They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!" he wrote.

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