Trump plans to go ahead with steel, aluminum tariffs on EU

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The Trump administration's latest move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the U.S.'s biggest strategic and trade partners has touched off a barrage of criticism and retaliation.

He is pressing ahead with 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, even after last week saying that dispute was "on hold", and 25 percent tariffs on auto imports, which is likely to spark a fierce reaction from the European Union as well.

The tariffs were first announced in March as a security measure and believed to be targeting China.

The statement criticised the U.S. use of a national security justification as "improper" and said the tariffs will affect key United States industries, including the automotive, aerospace and electronics sectors. Canada also offered aid immediately after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Gareth Stace, director of the trade association UK Steel, said: "This is a bad day for the steel sector, for global relations and for free trade".

Meanwhile, South Korea negotiated a steel quota, while Argentina, Australia and Brazil have arranged for "limitations on the volume they can ship to the United States in lieu of tariffs", Ross said.

President Donald Trump walks with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as they arrive for the White House Sports and Fitness Day event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

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Mexico said it will impose retaliatory duties on a variety of USA goods, including steel and a host of agricultural goods, including pork, apples, blueberries and various cheeses.

On Wednesday, the Trudeau government said it would take additional steps to prevent foreign steel and aluminum from being dumped into the North American market - news that appeared created to try to head off the tariff decision.

"We had discussions with the European Commission and while we made some progress, they also did not get to the point where it was warranted either to continue the temporary exemption or have a permanent exemption", Ross said.

Donald Trump's move to slap penalties on imports from US allies including the European Union is moving the country to the brink of a global trade war as the White House tries to wrest concessions from trading partners that are threatening to retaliate.

Trudeau is hosting this year's G-7 summit in early June and President Trump is expected to attend.

"The status to which they got did not justify continuing exemption from the tariffs based on the national security considerations of the overall situation", he said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told AP that "it's totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade".

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During a conference call early Thursday, Ross shrugged off questions about the USA facing possible retaliation, or whether the move would negatively affect the G7 meeting.

The Trump administration is making good on its threat to slap Canada with hefty steel and aluminum tariffs, setting the stage for a possible trade war and leaving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the middle of a very divided group of leaders at next week's G7 summit.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox dismissed American claims the move was due to national security as he signalled the United Kingdom could take retaliatory measures. "This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between longstanding partners, friends and allies", she said in a statement.

"Those talks are taking longer than we had hoped". That's because steel manufacturers in the USA employ far fewer people than industries that make things out of imported steel, like automakers.

But he had granted an exemption to the EU, Canada and Mexico.

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

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had traveled to Washington on Tuesday to discuss the issue, among other matters, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

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The US Aluminum Association, which represents major producers, also criticised the US decision on Thursday, saying tariffs would alienate allies and fail to address oversupply. "This is a very strong Canadian action in response to a very bad US decision". However, after early negotiations, the European Union was able to negotiate a temporary exemption until June 1.

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