G7 finance ministers speak out against US trade tariffs

Theresa May Donald Trump

Though the tariffs were first announced in March by US President Donald Trump, 45 at the time granted his trading partners an exemption, first until May 1 and then until June 1, Sputnik previously reported.

It largely spares U.S. farmers.

Europe is the biggest exporter of steel to the United States, accounting for almost 5 million tonnes out of total USA imports of about 35 million tonnes a year.

Trump's antagonistic trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - drew global denunciation.

US President, Donald Trump floated the possibility of scrapping the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement in favor of separate bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico.

And Macron pledged the retaliation would be "firm" and "proportionate" and in line with World Trade Organization rules.

Mnuchin, regarded as one of the more moderate trade voices in Trump's Cabinet, took a low profile during the G-7 discussion of tariffs but was clearly "isolated", two officials participating in the talks said.

MacKay said that like with any war, there will be collateral damage, and classified this week's events as "friendly fire".

For the European Union, a decision on just how far to push back will require agreement among the 28 member states that make up the world's biggest trade bloc.

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced it would not extend the waiver of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

Mr Trump has said the tariffs are needed to protect United States steel and aluminium industries vital to the nation's security.

The Canadian government announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods that look to go beyond the value of USA tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum.

"I did exactly what I said I would do, which is express in strong terms our opposition to these tariffs on the steel and aluminum sector", Morneau told reporters. "Our absolute view is - this is absurd to think that Canada could in any way be a national security risk to the United States".

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Lee said that "based on what I know now, those are not words that I would use to describe this". The report shows the investigation in total cost almost $10 million between October and March.

Washington claims the levies are a matter of national security.

His strong words followed swift responses to his tariffs by Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which all plan to retaliate with levies on billions of dollars of United States goods from orange juice and whiskey to blue jeans and Harley-Davidsons. "This is protectionism, pure and simple".

The EU earlier threatened to counterpunch by targeting US products, including Kentucky bourbon, blue jeans and motorcycles. "As we have said, we will always stand up for our workers, and today we're announcing retaliatory measures to this attack on our industry".

Sachs predicted that Trump's actions would have an overall negative effect on the USA dollar, and would lead to a rapid increase in the nation's debt.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in the Chinese capital on Saturday for talks with trade negotiators from the world's second-biggest economy.

The Canadian government released two lists of United States products, proposing a 25 per cent tariff on the first list and 10 per cent on the second.

The prime minister said the UK's steel and aluminium industries were "hugely important" to it.

The president's remarks came less than a day after he warned Canada in a statement issued by the White House that a renegotiated Nafta accord must be "a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all".

Trump had offered the two US neighbors a permanent exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs if they agreed to USA demands on NAFTA.

She added her voice to calls for British and European products to be exempt from the charges, saying they contributed to U.S. national security projects. That's not unprecedented because when the original Canada-U.S. free trade talks were happening, the two countries were mired in the softwood lumber dispute.

"Now we're into an era where the United States, as has been aptly said before, has no friends and enemies, only interests and that creates such uncertainty and volatility across so many markets", MacKay said. But companies in the US that use imported steel will face higher costs.

Metals prices already had risen in anticipation of the tariffs on key suppliers.

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