Canada's Trudeau blasts "totally unacceptable" Trump tariffs, announces counter-tariffs

Adjust Comment Print

Exports: About half of Canada's production is exported, mostly to the U.S.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attended meetings at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris on Wednesday, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer joins discussions in Paris on Thursday.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the US defence industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau said.

France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky".

Macron also proposed to start negotiations between the USA, the EU, China and Japan to reshape the World Trade Organization to better regulate trade.

The topic dominated discussions at the finance meeting in the Canadian mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia. Some U.S. companies that buy steel are complaining that Trump's tariffs put them at a competitive disadvantage.

"They report a really high surplus on trade with us".

Wang says he hopes a solution is found to the trade row.

Mnuchin, regarded as one of the more moderate trade voices in Trump's cabinet, said the issue may need to be resolved by G7 leaders at a summit next week in Charlevoix, Quebec, officials attending the meetings said. The Trump administration announced that it is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

He vowed to challenge the action in the World Trade Organisation and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump tweeted: "Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time".

Fears of trade war as large USA steel tariffs take effect
He says NAFTA has been "a very lousy deal" for the USA and says, "they're our allies but they take advantage of us economically". The world's two biggest economies have threatened to impose tariffs on up to $200 billion worth of each other's products.

After years of trade agreements that bound the countries of the world more closely and erased restrictions on trade, a populist backlash has grown against globalization.

The president took to Twitter on Saturday to defend his aggressive trade policies.

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

"The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade", Trump said in a statement.

G7 finance ministers clashed with their USA counterpart over Washington's decision to hit their countries with steel and aluminum import tariffs, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Saturday.

Harley-Davidson's stock dropped about 1 percent on Friday, while shares of steelmakers U.S. Steel and AK Steel both rose 2.2 percent.

Even if the US were to agree to waive the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Malmstrom said, "I expect them nonetheless to want to impose some sort of cap on European Union exports".

Mexico has already retaliated by levying measures on USA farm and industrial products, targeting pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses. A recent list compiled by the European Union targeted $3.3 billion worth of US imports.

Dr Fox branded Mr Trump's decision as "just protectionism" and said: "We absolutely do not rule out counter measures".

Some people familiar with the matter have told Reuters that approval may depend on progress of broader talks and a reprieve from a US government ban on sales by USA companies to China's ZTE Corp, penalised for illegally supplying telecommunications gear to Iran and North Korea. The U.S. team also wants to secure greater intellectual property protections and an end to Chinese subsidies that have contributed to overproduction of steel and aluminum.