United States allies hit back at Washington's steel, aluminium tariffs

United States allies hit back at Washington's steel, aluminium tariffs

Mexico hit back fast on USA tariffs on steel and aluminum on Thursday, targeting products from congressional districts that President Donald Trump's Republican party is fighting to retain in November elections.

The EU, an aide to Macron added, will "react by taking appropriate measures, in a firm manner and proportionately, in conformity with World Trade Organization rules".

"This is $16.6 billion of retaliation", said Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the USA decision to levy tariffs on the European Union "illegal" and a "mistake". "It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States", she said.

The EU, South Korea, Japan, Mexico and Canada have not so much adopted the Chinese model of free trade as they have been shown through experience that while the U.S. uses tariffs to extract often extraordinary concessions from long term partners, China operates on a much more pragmatic, consistent and reliable basis.

A 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports will be imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico from midnight (0400 GMT on Friday), Mr Ross told reporters.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May during the U.N. General Assembly in NY, U.S., September 20, 2017. "But the result will be the opposite", said Gordon Ritchie, a former Canadian ambassador for trade negotiations.

Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico's economy minister and chief trade negotiator, said the tariff decision led to tension in conversations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mr. Ross, but that talks are continuing.

Zekelman said the issues surrounding metal imports are extremely complex and that he can't export a lot of the product he produces in the US into Canada in the first place.

Both the steel industry and steelworkers' unions decried the tariffs. Negotiations with Europe had "made some progress" but not enough for additional exemptions, the commerce secretary said in a conference call from Paris.

Canada and Mexico, embroiled in talks with the U.S. to modernise the North American Free Trade Agreement, responded swiftly.

Ross offered little detail about what the EU, Canada and Mexico could do to have the tariffs lifted. A United States delegation arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for preliminary talks to establish the outlines for the weekend negotiations.

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"This measure brings the danger of a spiral of escalation, which in the end harms everyone", Seibert said in a statement.

But Vice President Mike Pence called back this week to set a NAFTA sunset clause as a precondition for the meeting, which both Canada and Mexico had rejected.

Australia is exempt from the tariffs after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull secured a deal to avoid the United States trade measures in March.

He said: "If there were to ever be a trade war which is what so many people are calling this, the USA would stand to win".

She was speaking alongside China's foreign affairs minister Wang Yi, who said China and the European Union were both committed to a rules-based, multilateral global system.

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said the steel and aluminum tariffs helped preserve the estimated two million jobs supported by the American steel industry.

"European steel and aluminium exports to the United States can not be seen as a threat to their internal security".

Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, told Fox News: "The president's actions are about protecting American steel, American aluminum".

Mr. Trump is pillaging the temple of the global trading system so painstakingly constructed over decades, largely as a result of USA pressure - sometimes more benignly and ironically described as American leadership. "The goals of restoring American industries to a sustainable operating domestic capacity and protecting national security must remain paramount".

She was the latest European politician to hit back at the United States decision, which has was described by President Emmanuel Macron of France as a "mistake" and the global trade secretary, Liam Fox, as "patently absurd".

As fears of a global trade war escalate, all eyes will be on Beijing this weekend.

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