USA ends steel, aluminum import tariff exemption on EU, Canada, Mexico

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Countries around the world are fighting back against President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, announcing retaliatory countermeasures and warning that the USA plan will hurt us consumers.

"The US measures are a protectionist intervention in global trade and run counter to the principles of the World Trade Organization", the body said in a statement, сalling for a swift WTO decision on challenges to the tariffs.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, campaigning in advance of the June 7 provincial election, savaged the US president as she called the tariff measure short-sighted and urged Trudeau "to take the strongest retaliation possible to protect our workers" and industry.

Trump criticized Canada's softwood lumber and agriculture policies, using them as examples of how America is being treated poorly by Canada. "That is why we are challenging the United States and China at the WTO", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.

Mnuchin rejected comments from some G7 officials that the United States was circumventing worldwide trade rules with the tariffs or ceding global economic leadership.

"We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved", Ross told the reporters in a telephone briefing on Thursday. They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!

The purchases Washington wants Beijing to commit to are aimed at reducing the $375 billion US trade deficit with China.

Canada is not alone in its fight: The US measures also struck other G7 nations - and those partners have returned fire with potential tariffs of their own.

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

The tariffs would impose levies on imports of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

That meeting, which will be hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be Trump's first visit to Canada as president.

The European Union is also planning a tariff counter strike and filed a request on Friday for consultations with the World Trade Organisation.

The US has bypassed WTO procedures and imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from yesterday, hitting Canada, Mexico and the European Union, even though the steel and aluminum over-capacity stems mainly from China.

The European Union has formally set in motion its trade retaliation against the United States over tariffs, filing on Friday a request for consultations at the World Trade Organization.

A similar investigation launched past year resulted in a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, although in many cases those tariffs have been suspended while the US negotiates with exporting countries.

Both sides also discussed global issues, including North Korea and Iran.

"We have to believe that at some point their common sense will prevail", he said.

Trump has said the tariffs were necessary in order to protect USA national security, but they were widely criticized by foreign leaders, US business groups, and even some labor groups as being ill-designed and potentially damaging to the USA economy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken a more combative stand against the USA, even going so far as to accuse President Donald Trump of lacking "common sense".