USA isolated at G7 meeting as tariffs prompt retaliation

Bill Morneau

"If the US rolls out trade measures including tariffs, all the agreements reached in the negotiations won't take effect", state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, citing a statement from the Chinese team that met with a USA delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

USA and Chinese trade delegations met on Saturday and Sunday for the third round of discussions on current trade tensions between the two countries.

Trump is also considering $50 billion tariffs on Chinese goods.

Mr Ross is seeking deals on agriculture and energy to narrow the yawning United States trade deficit with China, days after Washington threatened to impose additional tariffs on $50bn (£37bn) of Chinese goods.

US President Donald Trump talks to the media after meeting with North Korea's envoy Kim Yong Chol at the White House in Washington, US, June 1, 2018. He described the United States tariffs as an insult to Canadians who have entered into a security partnership with the U-S.

Though the AFL-CIO backed Trump's tariffs, it criticized President Trump's "impulsive negotiating tactics".

"Time to get smart!" he added.

A delegate grabs a flag to prevent it from being blown over by the wind outside of the G7 Finance Ministers summit in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, May 31, 2018. Trudeau says the Trump team made a new demand insisting that any new NAFTA deal expire after only five years.

"Americans remain our partners, friends, and allies", he said in a statement.

Finance leaders of the G7 group of big economies vented anger over the Trump administration's metal import tariffs on Saturday, ending their three-day meeting with a stern rebuke. They cite a 35 per cent drop in steel industry jobs in America over the last 20 years as foreign steel displaced US production and a 58 per cent drop in aluminum production jobs between 2013 and 2016.

They apply to items such as plated steel, slabs, coil, rolls of aluminium and tubes - raw materials that are used extensively across USA manufacturing, construction and the oil industry.

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Tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminium are now in place against the EU, Canada and Mexico.

Pushing back against the American tariffs, Canada laid out more than $16 billion in retaliatory tariffs, matching the steel and aluminum tariffs and adding in an array of consumer goods from toilet paper to orange juice to playing cards and ball point pens.

What has the response been?

The European Union and Canada both filed challenges with the World Trade Organization.

In his statement announcing the tariffs on Thursday, May 31, Trump called the decision, among other things, "a satisfactory alternative means to address the threat to the national security".

A full list of the products affected by Canada's reactionary tariffs can be found here.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the U.S. will hurt its own businesses by imposing tariffs on imports from other countries.

Canada plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on about $13bn worth of United States exports from 1 July.

The feds are looking at all options to help the industry and workers who may be impacted by these steep tariffs.

Some prominent US Republicans have also voiced opposition.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, whose country's steel and aluminium producers have been paying the United States metals tariffs since 23 March, called the USA action "deeply deplorable".

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