Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

U.S. set to impose tariffs on steel from Canada, EU, Mexico

U.S. set to impose tariffs on steel from Canada, EU, Mexico

Trump in March announced global tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel, and 10 percent on aluminum, citing national security concerns, but has delayed enacting them for some countries, giving them time to offer concessions. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that "Our US friends must know that if they were to take aggressive actions against Europe, Europe would not be without reaction". European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, seemingly flippantly, identified Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kentucky bourbon and Levi's jeans in particular in a German TV interview.

British manufacturers sold 350,00 tonnes of steel to the U.S. past year, which made up 7% of their exports.

Apparently the United States is deeply concerned that the new European Union privacy guidelines will change how companies do business, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, adding that the regulation should be implemented in a way to minimize barriers to trade.

"We take the view that without a strong economy, you can't have strong national security", he said. It could also place the United States in a trade dispute on more than one front. "Make America Great Again" shouldn't mean 'Make America 1929 Again.'What's next?

That announcement came about a month after the Canada Border Services Agency was granted extra powers to identify businesses that try to dodge import duties and ship cheap foreign steel and aluminum through the Canadian market.

Prior to Ross's announcement, a senior Canadian official, speaking on condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the situation, confirmed Canada has prepared a list of US products that might face retaliatory tariffs, but declined to give further details.

"We continue to be quite willing and eager to have further discussions with all of those parties", Ross told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 21, 2018.

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But European officials are increasingly irritated by Trump's aggressive use of obscure provisions in USA trade laws against US allies.

"We would like Canada's response to this tariff to be immediate and significant", Galimberti said, adding that the response should "certainly include steel being imported from the United States".

"The decision announced today is a significant threat to the 22,000 Canadian households whose livelihoods are directly supported by employment in Canadian steel", said Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association. "We will defend the UK's interests robustly".

"We urge the European Union to consider this when initiating its response".

Donald Trump has declared a trade war against America's core allies - for the sake of "national security".

The EU said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, while Mexico vowed to impose duties on everything from US flat steel to cheese.

The administration has repeatedly used tariffs as part of get-tough trade policies, with China still awaiting a presidential decision.

Canada is imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff "countermeasures" on up to $16.6 billion worth of US imports in response to the American decision to make good on its threat of similar tariffs against Canadian-made steel and aluminum. The US wants to use tariffs as a bargaining tool for other negotiations.

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