US Hits EU, Canada and Mexico With Metal Tariffs Despite Brussels' Backlash

Tata Prepares To Sell British Steel Operation

Tata Prepares To Sell British Steel Operation

US President Donald Trump intends to impose steep import duties on steel and aluminium imports from Europe from tomorrow, Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Freeland made the announcement alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following word from the White House that the US will slap tariffs on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminium as of midnight Thursday night.

The Trump administration announced it's imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, in a move immediately condemned by America's closest allies.

The three allies were previously given temporary exemptions from the duties - 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

Mexico retaliated with "equivalent" measures on farm and industrial products, targeting pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel. Canada is the biggest steel exporter to the U.S.

"Trade is an area where President Trump's thinking and policy differs profoundly from most other Republicans", said longtime Republican operative Michael Steel.

The decision seems purely political, insofar as the Trump administration failed to secure any meaningful concessions from China during the recent trade spat, and so a "win" elsewhere was likely sought after. The E.U. shares many of Washington's concerns about China's efforts to acquire advanced technology through compulsory licensing practices, cybertheft and other measures. Mexico said it would penalize US imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

European officials had braced for the tariffs and the EU has threatened to retaliate against USA orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return.

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Politicians from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the largest party in Northern Ireland, have spoken out angrily in response. It also urged the government to begin working on the legislation immediately after the referendum verdict was passed.

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.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said Trump's tariffs were "totally unacceptable" and promised to retaliate in due course. The US wants to use tariffs as a bargaining tool for other negotiations. "I have argued for the European Union and the U.S. to engage in a positive trans-Atlantic trade agenda, and for the European Union to be fully, permanently and unconditionally exempted from these tariffs".

"The real worry is that we are in a weaker negotiating position", he said.

On CTV News Channel, Aluminum Association of Canada Chief Executive Jean Simard called the USA move "unfortunate", and also called the national security argument a "non-issue", explaining that the two countries are highly integrated when it comes to defence supply.

Imposition of tariffs on European steel and aluminium imports could provoke retaliatory tariffs and inflame trans-Atlantic trade tensions.

Findings of section 232 investigations into the effect of steel and aluminum imports on the national security of the United States were released in January. The move marks the Trump administration's most aggressive trade action yet against major USA trading partners, which had been fighting for permanent relief. "We will respond appropriately", she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed her opposition even before the US announcement, saying the looming tariffs were incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.

Beyond their Americana associations, those choices-if they were to be enacted-target important political leaders in the U.S. Harleys hail from Wisconsin, the home state of outgoing House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, while bourbon is the specialty of Kentucky, where Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is from.

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