Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump's global trade war

Trump's global trade war

After first announcing its intent to tax steel and aluminum in March, the Trump administration granted a temporary exemption to Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

He said the British prime minister planned to raise the tariffs with the us president personally in Canada at a scheduled G-7 summit of the seven largest advanced economies.

The Trump administration's decision to impose punishing new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum could have dire consequences for Canada's defence sector and drive up the price of new military equipment, federal ministers said Thursday.

See the full list of products that are now subject to tariffs.

But in targeting its own allies, the USA tariffs will widen a rift with normally friendly trading partners, and the likely result of actions and counteractions is likely to be higher costs and reduced access to key goods and materials.

EU members have given broad support to a European Commission plan to set duties on 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of U.S. exports if Washington ends tariff exemptions. The goods affected are steel, aluminum and several other products, ranging from foodstuffs and coffee to cosmetics and stationery to detergents and various other chemicals.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tariffs "totally unacceptable" and an affront to an ally that has fought alongside American forces for decades.

What's your view on Canada's trade retaliation against the U.S.?

The Mexican measures target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel - products from USA heartland states that supported Trump in the 2016 election.

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The Trump administration is using an obscure section from a half-century-old trade law to impose the tariffs on national-security grounds. Last week, The Trump administration announced an investigation into whether automobile imports are hurting United States national security, laying the groundwork for another trade fight.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made the announcement Thursday morning.

"We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions", Mr Ross said. United States denim, bourbon, motorcycles, peanut butter, motor boats and cigarettes are also in the firing line.

The EU will decide exact countermeasures in coming weeks, according to the French officials.

He added Canada would challenge the "illegal" measures under North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organisation rules, and finished by taking a swipe at Trump's leadership style.

The EU move could heighten pressure on Washington.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, whom Ross was scheduled to meet in Paris on Thursday morning, said on Wednesday that the European Union did not want a trade war either but would respond if Washington imposed tariffs. Tariffs will remain on imports from Japan.

The CBI warned the move would "damage prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic".

Europe felt that "legitimate exports" from the European Union to US markets did not justify tariffs, David O'Sullivan the EU's Ambassador to the USA told a discussion held by the Wilson Centre in Washington DC on Wednesday.

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