Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

EU joins global battle against Trump tariff onslaught

EU joins global battle against Trump tariff onslaught

Describing the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a awful deal for the United States, Trump said people were starting to see it.

They have targeted goods manufactured in key United States political districts that could weaken Trump's hand after November's mid-term elections. "Europe's response will be united and proportionate", he said in a series of tweets.

"NAFTA needs updating", he said, "but tearing it up is not the answer".

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that Washington's decision to impose the tariffs - Canada provides half of all United States aluminum imports - had lessened the chances for a successful outcome of the NAFTA talks.

The president's remarks came less than a day after he warned Canada in a statement issued by the White House that a renegotiated Nafta accord must be "a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all".

"The U.S. now leaves us with no choice but to proceed with a [World Trade Organization] dispute settlement case and with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the U.S. We will defend the Union's interests, in full compliance with global trade law", Juncker said in a statement. European officials argue that tit-for-tat tariffs will hurt growth on both sides of the Atlantic and Canada said before the announcement that it would respond in kind.

It would also signal no one is safe: Mexico and Canada are the top two buyers of U.S. exports. Based on an analysis of United States export data, the value of the goods subject to tariffs was $15.72 billion, well above the target level.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, left, welcomes US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross prior to their meeting at French Economy Ministry in Paris, France, Thursday.

Negotiators from the three North American partners have failed to reach an agreement to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump again called "a bad deal".

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President Donald Trump is moving ahead with steel and aluminum tariffs on some of the United States' closest allies and that could result in serious pain for agriculture.

The EU's trade chief, Cecilia Malmstrom, said that the USA decision to impose tariffs "is further weakening the Trans-Atlantic relations".

Washington will announce plans to slap tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium imports as early as Thursday morning, sources said, while the USA commerce secretary said any escalation of their trade dispute would depend on the bloc's reaction.

"His is a psychopath's trade war", Sachs said.

Chairing the meeting, host nation Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau allowed participants to register grievances with Mnuchin one at a time, according to a Canadian source.

The spokesperson said the government stands by its analysis that the total value of the goods subject to tariffs is 16.6 billion Canadian dollars.

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.

Gareth Stace, director of trade body UK Steel, said he was "very, very worried" about the potential impact of a "double whammy" on British producers from the Trump administration's decision.

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