Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mexico aims tariff countermeasures at key Republican-contested districts

Mexico aims tariff countermeasures at key Republican-contested districts

"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", he said.

But as the NAFTA negotiations grind on in Washington and with the Trump administration providing little indication of whether an extension will be granted, the looming possibility of levies is "absolutely" affecting Canadian producers, said Jean Simard, chief executive of the Aluminum Association of Canada.

In a statement released by Ontario NDP leader and Hamilton Centre MPP, Andrea Horwath said the announcement will immediately impose devastating tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum - putting many thousands of good jobs in Ontario at risk.

The Government Of Canada has said in the past that it would retaliate against the States if these tariff's were imposed on Canada. Those negotiations had a Friday deadline. It's now tariffs for everybody, including the United States' closest military allies. "But we see no sign of that in this action today by the USA administration".

In imposing the tariffs, President Donald Trump invoked a seldom-used section of a 1960s trade law that allows him to erect trade barriers when imports imperil national security.

The impact of tariff threats is being felt in the US too, given the amount of steel Canada exports south of the border and the large quantity of other goods purchased from various states.

In the intervening period, Trump has been hot and cold on the future of the trilateral agreement, saying last month that a deal could be reached "fairly soon" while at times threatening to terminate the 24-year-old treaty.

Shares of U.S. Steel and AK Steel jumped about 6 per cent each, while Nucor and Steel Dynamics gained more than 2 per cent.

While China is seen at more risk from a trade war as its exports are larger than its imports from the US, the operations of American companies in China make substantial sales there, which could be hit by any turn in sentiment. The Dow fell about 200 points.

U.S. To Continue Trade Actions Against China: White House
Chinese citizens seeking visas who work as researchers or managers for specific companies flagged by the U.S. Commerce Department will need special clearance from a number of U.S. agencies, according to the AP.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that "Our US friends must know that if they were to take aggressive actions against Europe, Europe would not be without reaction".

Europe also said it would start the process for enacting retaliatory tariffs.

The United States' launch of a tariff probe into vehicle imports last week was also seen as a move created to pressure its NAFTA partners in negotiations that have been contentious on issues including rules of origin and wages as they apply to the automotive sector.

"This is a bad day for world trade", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels after the announcement.

The EU trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, said the EU "did everything to avoid this outcome".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that NAFTA negotiations with the US broke down after Vice President Pence demanded that he agree in advance to a five-year "sunset" provision.

"These are blips on the radar screen - I don't think they change the fundamentals of the relationship", Ross said. "These tariffs are totally unacceptable".

Canada, Mexico and the European Union were initially granted exemptions, but they end Friday.

Tariffs might protect some jobs in the USA steel industry, but far fewer than the number of jobs that will be lost. But Ross said Thursday that those talks "are taking longer than we hoped". Mexico was the third largest, behind South Korea.

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