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

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.

The United States has fired the opening shots in a trade war with three of its traditional allies after imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Last week, the United States administration launched a national security-based investigation that could result in stinging tariffs on the autos the U.S. imports annually, just as it has for the smaller aluminium and steel industries.

The EU would take "all necessary measures" to respond if the U.S. did impose tariffs, Mr Le Maire warned. U.S. Steel climbed 3%. The US is also engaged in negotiations with the US and Canada with the goal of updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that the European Union would prepare a "smart, determined and jointly agreed" response if the U.S. refused to grant the exemption, noting that these tariffs are "not in line with World Trade Organization rules".

Study says auto tariffs will cost 157K jobs MORE said Thursday that despite those discussions the United States would slap the tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada, which combined account for about 50 percent of all steel and aluminum imported into the U.S.

"We believe these tariffs aren't compatible with WTO rules", she said in Lisbon.

The E.U. has promised to meet the American tariffs with retaliatory duties on a wide range of US exports from politically sensitive regions - including bourbon made in Mitch McConnell's Kentucky and Harley-Davidson motorcycles manufactured in Paul Ryan's Wisconsin.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe".

"Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in world trade".

According to the Associated Press, French President Emmanuel Macron alluded to Trump's leadership style directly in slamming the pending tariffs in a Wednesday speech.

In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: "These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term". But they can increase costs more broadly for USA manufacturers that cannot source all their needs locally and have to import the materials.

"It's not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end", he said, declaring that the stiff taxes would be "unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous". You saw his reaction when China made a decision to retaliate. We are ready to rebuild this multilateralism with our American friends'.

  • Eleanor Harrison