G7 countries criticize U.S. over steel tariffs

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But hope faded when US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the United States would impose tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium from Canada and others from Friday.

"When you're nearly 800 Billion Dollars a year down on Trade, you can't lose a Trade War", he continued. Trump announced last month that he was pulling the United States out of an worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran. "Our objective is to make sure we have fair and balanced trade and that's what we're really focused on", Mnuchin briefed the media after holding separate meetings with the six finance ministers.

The Prime Minister has previously slammed the "unjustified" and "disappointing" decision to impose the levies.

Each country has announced its own plans to retaliate against the United States.

Canadian officials and much of U.S. industry consider this a poison pill and Trudeau said no meeting occurred as a result.

"Certainly, these actions taken on these tariffs are not ones that are conducive to a positive dialogue", he told reporters as a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers got underway in British Columbia.

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"Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to USA industry including in defence projects which bolster U.S. national security".

G7 governments were also digesting Trump's threats to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in USA auto imports on purported national security grounds.

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U.S. neighbors Canada and Mexico have pledged to retaliate against new tariffs imposed by the White House on steel and aluminum. "It's not going to happen like that anymore", he said.

European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom slammed Trump's tariffs as "pure protectionism", calling it "illegal" under WTO trading rules.

"French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also said Mnuchin was clearly isolated at on the tariff issue, with the group devolved to a "G6 plus one" with the six expressing "total incomprehension" over the destabilizing U.S. move".

"It has been a tense and tough G7 - I would say it's been far more a G6 plus one than a G7", said Mr Le Maire.

"The tariffs ... are completely unacceptable, and in fact they are illegal", Freeland said.

But Washington rejected the latest offer from its neighbours to accept a larger U.S. share of North American auto manufacturing in exchange for the U.S. dropping other contentious demands.

"There was an important difference of opinion", Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters at the closing press conference of the G7 summit in the resort ski town of Whistler, Canada, on Saturday.

The statement singled out the Americans, the largest and most important member of the G7, saying "decisive action" is needed at a leaders summit next week in Quebec.

He said that events next week "will depend on the decision the (US) administration is ready to take in the next few days and in the next few hours - I'm not talking about weeks ahead", Le Maire said.

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