Theresa May calls on Donald Trump to exempt United Kingdom from steel tariffs

Larry Hoffman
June 4, 2018

The United States had sought use the tariff threat as cudgel to win concessions from Canada and Mexico in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Instead of opening up another front in trade disputes, we should be teaming up with Europe to confront China", Rubio said, in comments similar to those of several Democrats.

"The U.S. measures are a protectionist intervention in global trade and run counter to the principles of the WTO (World Trade Organization)", Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl said in a statement on Thursday.

Canada plans to slam retaliatory tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of USA exports and contest the steel and aluminum tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), per Reuters.

Brazil, Argentina and Australia have agreed to limit steel shipments to the U.S.in exchange for being spared the tariffs, the Commerce Department said.

"Canada is a secure supplier of steel and aluminum to the US defence industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa, where he and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined retaliatory tariffs of their own.

"These tariffs are a new US$347 million tax on the USA beer industry", CEO Jim McGreevy said in a statement.

"Now we're into an era where the United States has no friends and enemies, only interests and that creates such uncertainty and volatility across so many markets", he said. What's more, many top foreign brands such as Toyota and Honda have manufacturing facilities located in the U.S. "It's not that we can't talk just because there's tariffs", he said. The EU also started the process of filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

The trade penalties, which included a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum, will be in effect starting Thursday at midnight.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc was challenging the legality of the new USA tariffs, and that negotiations with Washington were not now possible.

"Everyone expressed their complete incomprehension of the American decisions and everyone said it was up to the Americans to take the next step since they were the ones who imposed the tariffs".

"This is a risk that we've highlighted in our monetary policy report in the past, the risk of protectionism and the fear of the tit-for-tat responses", he said.

Both Ambrose and Heyman said they worry the tariffs are an indication Trump doesn't want to see a deal on NAFTA reached, and rather the entire dance has been about political gain for the U.S. President.

"If Trump were serious about protecting good-paying American jobs he would sign an executive order today to prevent large companies that outsource jobs to low-wage countries from receiving lucrative federal contracts and corporate welfare". "In terms of the trajectory Trump is on, when you follow what he has done over the course of the a year ago, everything he has threatened, he has followed through on when it comes to trade action", she said.

And then we'd have to retaliate again... and so the cycle of trade disintegration would continue.

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