United States allies vow to retaliate over Trump's metal tariffs

Italy news

Italy news

Donald Trump's long-standing promise to use import tariffs to try to revive the USA steel and aluminum industry was opposed by USA economists, labor experts, and even the industries themselves-but the White House did it anyway.

Besides the United States steel and aluminum tariffs, the Trump administration is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.

Despite media speculations that the United States could possibly introduce long-term exemptions from the tariffs for its close allies, Trump has opted for moving ahead with steel and aluminium duties.

The tariffs will go into effect on the trio of countries at midnight.

Europe and Mexico reacted to the USA move with their own lists of tariffs on American products, raising fears of a trade war among allies.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. Products could include Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi jeans and bourbon whiskey.

In retaliation to these tariffs, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada would impose surtaxes and other similar measures on steel imports, aluminum imports, and other products from the U.S. The surtaxes will cover $16.6 billion dollars, the exact amount of money made from Canadian exports of steel and aluminum to the U.S.in 2017.

Mexico said it would tax a number of US imports, including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

"Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, half of U.S. steel exports", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed opposition to the rising trade tensions before the US announcement.

In imposing the tariffs, President Donald Trump invoked a seldom-used section of a 1960s trade law that allows him to erect trade barriers when imports imperil national security. Throughout these talks, the USA has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the EU.

Mr Cramer, who hosts CNBC's Mad Money, said European leaders are in "over their heads" as the trade battle continues with Donald Trump. But the NAFTA talks stalled.

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Trade partners including the European Union that had hoped to win a continued waiver from American tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum knew well before the Friday deadline that the game was over.

"We now call on the EU Commission to take swift and robust action to combat the indirect effects of these tariffs", he said.

"There are periodic disagreements between any two countries on any given set of topics". But companies in the USA that use imported steel will face higher costs.

For local steel industry players like Robin Furlong, the move could have immediate consequences.

The tariffs will start Friday.

A Commerce Department investigation earlier this year determined a need to ensure adequate US steel production capacity to supply the military. The higher cost meant it lost out this year to a Chinese company on a contract to branch out into a new market: making food-processing equipment.

"It's not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end", he said, declaring that the stiff United States duties were "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky".

The Trump administration announced Thursday it will be moving ahead with the tariffs on ally nations, despite those nations' urging that he not do so, and fears of retaliatory tariffs.

Measured purely in dollars, the tariffs don't amount to much in America's $20 trillion economy.

"Mexico has indicated on repeated occasions that this type of measure under the criteria of national security are not adequate nor justified", the government said in a statement.

Similarly, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko put out a joint statement on United States tariff efforts, saying "This would cause serious turmoil in the global market and could lead to the demise of the multilateral trading system based on WTO rules".

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