Trade war? What you need to know about USA steel tariffs

Trade war? What you need to know about USA steel tariffs

Trade war? What you need to know about USA steel tariffs

The latest 30-day exemption is set to expire on Friday.

Canadian makers and users of aluminum and steel say they are disappointed but not surprised by the Trump administration's decision to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum produced north of the border.

The White House announced that it would end a two-month exemption for the EU, Canada and Mexico from the 25% steel and 10% aluminum import tariffs announced in March, once again pointing to national security concerns as a primary motivating factor.

President Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March but the USA granted exemptions to the E.U., Canada, Mexico, and other US allies.

"We now call on the EU Commission to take swift and robust action to combat the indirect effects of these tariffs", he said. The next question would be: how will the (US) President (Donald Trump) react? The government has also revealed plans to add 40 additional Customs and Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers to look into trade complaints, and given the department new powers to identify and combat companies that evade import duties.

Some €6.4bn worth of European Union exports are expected to be affected by the United States tariffs.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland during news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 2018. The EU had earlier agreed to discussions on increased market access for US products but only if the USA first agreed to a permanent exemption from the steel tariffs.

The EU has stressed that its industry has also been damaged and offered to work with the USA to find a multilateral solution through the World Trade Organisation.

Republicans in Congress called the tariffs "dumb" and "damaging" after the White House announcement, and a U.S. retail industry trade group said they "will raise the cost of doing business for thousands of American companies, including retailers, and will stifle efforts to expand and create jobs".

In response, the European Commission confirmed it would be triggering a dispute settlement case at the World Trade Organisation and will impose "rebalancing measures and take any necessary steps to protect the EU market from trade diversion caused by these United States restrictions", according to a statement on its website on Thursday (31 May).

Trump imposed the tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum using a national security justification, which Ross said encompasses a broad array of economic issues. "One can think about making voters happy by saying, 'I have a victory, I'll change the rules, you'll see'".

"If there is an escalation it will be because the European Union would have chose to retaliate", he said, adding that Washington did not want a trade war with the EU. "There is no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded and therefore they were added into the list of those who will bear tariffs".

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", he said.

"Let me be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable", Trudeau said.

The steel and aluminum levies and auto-import probe could play well with Trump voters in Rust Belt states in the lead-up to congressional midterms in November.

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