European Union joins global battle against Trump tariffs, Europe News & Top Stories

Cecilia Malmström Commissioner for Trade during the press conference about EU measures to counter balance US tariffs

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1per cent, and the S&P 500 shed 0.69 per cent on Thursday.

Neither the tariffs nor a series of retaliatory measures imposed by the federal Liberal government in response will affect the ability to keep renegotiating NAFTA as a separate track, Ross added.

"The American administration has made a decision today that we deplore and obviously is going to lead to retaliatory measures, as it must", a visibly annoyed Trudeau said at a news conference with Freeland on Thursday.

The administration is taking the action under a relatively obscure US trade law meant to protect national security.

The EU took the United States to the World Trade Organisation to challenge the legality of the new tariffs and the Trump administration's national security justification.

The move comes after Mr Trump's decision to impose a 25% duty on European steel and a 10% duty on European aluminium.

"I stated that I thought we were quite close to reaching an agreement, and perhaps the time had come for me to sit down with the president in Washington in order to finalize the NAFTA agreement", Trudeau said in French.

"We can not enter into any kind of discussion under the pressure", Le Maire said.

Mexico has already retaliated by levying measures on USA farm and industrial products, targeting pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses.

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The Mexican government, already at loggerheads with Trump over immigration and the border wall, said it would levy import taxes on United States exports of pork bellies, blueberries, apples, grapes, certain cheeses, and various types of steel.

The European Union is planning retaliatory tariffs on USA steel and food goods in the coming weeks, once it calculates the exact cost to EU companies of the US tariffs.

The EU is set to retaliate with tariffs on a range of US goods from Harley-Davidson HOG.N motorcycles to blue jeans and bourbon whiskey.

The EU's case against China targets specific provisions under Chinese regulations on the import and export of technologies and the regulation on Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures that the EU says discriminate against non-Chinese companies and treat them worse than domestic ones.

All six of the other G7 countries are paying the tariffs, which are largely aimed at curbing excess production in China. But companies in the US that use imported steel will face higher costs. The countries had been granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs introduced by the White House on March 1. Shares of Century Aluminum Co jumped 3.3% but Alcoa Corp shed 0.9%.

The U.S. president has said the tariffs are needed to protect U.S. steel and aluminum industries vital to the nation's security. In fact, U.S. Commerce Department numbers show, the United States recorded a trade surplus with Canada for each of the past three years.

And on Tuesday, Trump said during a rally that he was going to make Mexico pay for a wall along the US border.

While China is seen at more risk from a trade war because its exports are larger than its imports from the United States, operations of American companies in China make substantial sales there, which could be hit by any turn in sentiment.

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