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White House Imposes Tariffs on US Allies EU, Canada And Mexico

White House Imposes Tariffs on US Allies EU, Canada And Mexico”

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it is moving forward with tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods as punishment for intellectual property theft.

Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, batted away European calls for a permanent exemption from duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

Mr Stace said U.S. tariffs would be "purely protectionist".

The European Union has already notified the World Trade Organization of plans to levy duties on $7.2 billion worth of USA exports in response, with the aim of collecting $1.6 billion in tariff revenue.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", he said.

Mexico buys more steel and aluminum from the United States than it sells.

In response, Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that as the number one customer of American steel, "Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable". European Union exports potentially subject to US duties are worth 6.4 billion euros ($7.5 billion).

"Realistically, I do not think we can hope" to avoid either USA tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum, said Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's trade commissioner.

Those exemptions will expire at midnight tonight.

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Steel producers across the European Union were granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs while the USA tried to persuade the European Union to cut steel production or make other concessions. "The fact that we took a tariff action does not mean there can not be a negotiation".

The EU, Canada and Mexico had been given a temporary reprieve from the tariffs when they were first announced by Trump two months ago.

Trump imposed the steel and aluminum penalties under a 1962 law that gives the president broad power to increase or reduce tariffs on goods deemed critical to national security.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union would give a "smart, determined and jointly agreed" response to new US tariffs that she said would break World Trade Organization rules.

Ross downplayed the threats of retaliation from those countries, but said talks could continue even amid the dispute to try to find a solution. The U.S. said the exemptions granted Canada and Mexico were linked to the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

"As to Canada, Mexico, you will recall that the reason for the deferral had been pending the outcome of the NAFTA talks", he said.

Thursday's action also is expected to complicate US efforts to confront China over trade practices that the administration regards as unfair.

Stephanie Segal, deputy director of the Simon Chair in political economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Washington's many about-faces meant consensus in the near-term was an increasingly dim prospect. In the case of Canada and Mexico, the US had hoped to address its national security concerns in the context of ongoing efforts to renegotiate NAFTA, but those talks have taken longer than expected and there is now no precise end date in sight, Ross said.



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