Macron brands Trump tariffs move 'illegal' as European Union vows response

Macron brands Trump tariffs move 'illegal' as European Union vows response

Macron brands Trump tariffs move 'illegal' as European Union vows response

In a statement Wednesday the White House said the duties imposed earlier this year "have already had major, positive effects on steel and aluminum workers and jobs and will continue to do so long into the future".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Trump administration's argument that the tariffs were necessary for national security reasons was an "affront" to Canada, which has fought alongside the numerous armed conflicts. "We have been very clear about the consequences", she said.

U.S. tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium from the affected countries came into effect at midnight in Washington - 06.00 Central European Time (CET).

The decision angered the three key trading partners.

The 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum will be imposed effective midnight.

And Ross also said there's still scope for negotiations with Canada, Mexico and the European Union that could reduce or eliminate the tariffs.

President Donald Trump had announced in March to impose an import tariff of 25 per cent on steel and 15 per cent on aluminum, based on addressing the perceived threat to national security. Canada and Mexico have also threatened retaliation, but have not publicly indicated which USA products they would hit.

New tariffs imposed by the United States have been condemned by German business and political leaders, who say a trade war will damage economic growth and prosperity.

Speaking to the BBC when the tariffs were first proposed, Roberto Azevedo, the director general of the World Trade Organization, said Washington was still talking to Beijing.

European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28-nation bloc "will announce in the next coming hours counter-balancing measures" in response to the USA action.

Trudeau responded that there was no way any Canadian prime minister would sign a NAFTA deal that included a five-year sunset clause, and the visit was scrapped.

Trump's China tariffs could be imposed in June
Either way, repeated changes to the USA strategy on China may only bog down talks with Beijing moving forward, Reinsch said. The dispute was initiated in March over Beijing's "discriminatory technology licensing requirements", the White House said.

Brussels will also now trigger a dispute settlement case at the World Trade Organisation, saying the United States is acting against agreed worldwide rules.

A Commerce Department investigation earlier this year determined a need to ensure adequate USA steel production capacity to supply the military.

The Dow Jones Index dropped 250 points on the announcement and fear is growing that similar tariffs will be announced by Russian Federation and China in coming days.

The Canadian government released two lists of USA products, proposing a 25 percent tariff on the first list and 10 percent on the second.

The European Union has already notified the World Trade Organization of plans to levy duties on $7.2 billion worth of USA exports in response, with the aim of collecting $1.6 billion in tariff revenue.

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

"If President Trump decides to treat Europe as an enemy, we will have no choice but to defend European industry, European jobs, European interests", he said.

The British government said it was "deeply disappointed" and the United Kingdom and other European Union countries "should be permanently and fully exempted" from the tariffs.

'Labour would coordinate a decisive set of counter-measures with the European Union and challenge the U.S. at the World Trade Organisation'.

The groups Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity said the tariffs would hurt the nation's economy and low unemployment rates.

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