United States tariffs 'weakening transatlantic relations'

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In a CBC radio interview in Halifax, Trudeau slammed the widely denounced USA measures as "ridiculous" and ones that will backfire in the United States, which will face retaliatory dollar-for-dollar tariff "countermeasures" on up to $16.6 billion worth of American imports. "Let me be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable".

Mr. Trump also defended his decision to hit Canada, Mexico and the European Union with hefty steel and aluminum tariffs, a move that some observers say has made the efforts to rescue NAFTA that much more of an uphill climb.

"We're being used as collateral damage in his fight with China, Korea as it relates to steel and aluminum", said Dias.

President Trump's decision to impose the tariffs was provoked by a flood of subsidised Chinese steel on the world market, which has challenged the sustainability of the industry in the West.

Trudeau earlier deplored a decision by Trump to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Friday that he told Trump in a phone call that the new United States tariffs on European, Mexican and Canadian goods are illegal and a "mistake".

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement: "Today is a bad day for world trade". But companies in the United States that use imported steel will face higher costs.

One U.S. industry official who has been in contact with negotiators from both sides said neither country had been notified by the White House as of Wednesday evening and they were learning of the possibility of tariffs from news reports. Both parties had previously said that tariffs would be put on hold as talks continued.

"If any of these parties does retaliate that does not mean there can not be continuing negotiations", Ross said.

Mnuchin faced an earful of complaints at the meeting as G7 officials vocalized frustration over the U.S. action, which was seen as alienating historical trading partners.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross leaves his hotel in Beijing, Friday, May 4, 2018.

Export powerhouse Germany is highly reluctant to deepen the trade war, and until the last minute hoped to reason with Trump. Meeting ahead of the main summit, they said there was still time to avoid a trade war. They report a really high surplus on trade with us. Canada and Mexico have signaled there'd only be a quick deal if the US made concessions on outstanding issues to seal a win on automobiles.

USA businesses and trade associations quickly warned against the effect the new tariffs could have on the economy and consumers.

This morning, Mexico announced tariffs on US goods in retaliation while the European Union promised to do the same. "More American workers lost jobs than jobs were saved", said Dias. Some of the tariffs would hurt the electoral districts of some of President Donald Trump's allies.

In reality, national security has nothing to do with the new tariffs.

The Trump administration launched a national security investigation last week into auto and truck imports, using the same 1962 law that he has applied to curb incoming steel and aluminum.

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