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

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But on Wednesday night, Canadian and Mexican officials learned of the impending tariffs from news reports, according to one USA industry official who spoke withPolitico.

While not confirming directly that the U.S. would decide to impose tariffs, he said: "It's up to the European Union to decide if it wants to take retaliatory measures".

Ross downplayed the threats of retaliation from those countries, but said talks could continue even amid the dispute to try to find a solution. But he said those talks were taking longer that "we had hoped".

"This is a bad day for the world trade", he stressed.

Le Maire warned that the European Union would take "all necessary measures" if the U.S. imposed the tariffs.

"What we might see is damage not only to the United Kingdom economy but to the U.S. economy if we don't get a further extension. or indeed President Trump actually sees sense and understands that there will be no winners here". The president first unveiled these trade measures in early March, but had initially provided exemptions to the European Union and America's northern and southern neighbors.

"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", the United States commerce chief told reporters.

That exemption was due to expire on Friday.

The Trump administration faced a decision with previously granted exemptions from the tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports expiring June 1.

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Such tariffs could also "lead to the demise of the multilateral trading system based on WTO rules", the ministers said.

That came as a surprise after China-U.S. trade talks appeared close to a deal for China to significantly increase purchases of U.S. energy and agricultural goods.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said U.S. tariffs on European metals would be unjustified and risky.

"It is totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade".

Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the USA can help local producers of the metals by making foreign products more expensive.

According to the Associated Press, French President Emmanuel Macron alluded to Trump's leadership style directly in slamming the pending tariffs in a Wednesday speech.

By increasing the cost of imported steel and aluminum, companies that rely on the metals will be forced to either accept the higher costs and lower profits or pass on the price increase to consumers.

"It's not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end", he said, declaring that the stiff taxes would be "unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous".

"This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between longstanding partners, friends and allies", Malmström said. But German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier insisted the Europeans were ready to negotiate special trade arrangements, notably for liquefied natural gas and industrial goods, including cars.

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