Italy decries steel and U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs

Italy decries steel and U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs

Italy decries steel and U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Friday that he told Trump in a phone call that the new United States tariffs on European, Mexican and Canadian goods are illegal and a "mistake". Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate quickly, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.

Freeland is making the announcement alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following word from the White House that the US will slap tariffs on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminium as of midnight Thursday night.

"This is stupid - it's counterproductive", Francis Maude, a former British trade minister, told the BBC.

"Any government that embarks on a protectionist path inflicts the most damage on itself", he added.

Mr Macron warned: "Economic nationalism leads to war. This is exactly what happened in the 1930s".

For the European Union, a decision on just how far to push back will require agreement among the 28 member states that make up the world's biggest trade bloc.

USA stocks shuddered at the news, however, with the The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipping over one percent, S&P 500 dropping 0.54 percent, and the Nasdaq going down 0.16 percent.

The Prime Minister's Office said they "all agreed to continue to defend the Canadian steel and aluminum industry from unwarranted tariffs and to stand up for the best interests of all Canadian workers and businesses".

The comments came hours after Trump lashed out at Canada by tweet, accusing America's northern neighbor of treating "our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time".

Mr Trump yesterday blasted Canada after Ottawa hit back with retaliatory duties on U.S. imports worth up to C$16.6 billion (S$17 billion).

Mr Trump has said the tariffs are needed to protect United States steel and aluminium industries vital to the nation's security.

These items include yogurt, coffee, sugar, toilet paper, sailboats, mattresses, washing machines and lawn mowers - all aimed at exerting pressure on key U.S. states that export a lot to Canada.

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Trump announced plans for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium in March, justifying them on national security grounds.

All six of the other G-7 countries are paying the tariffs, which are largely aimed at curbing excess production in China.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.

Brussels is also preparing to slap tariffs on U.S. products including bourbon, motorcycles and blue jeans worth up to €2.8 billion (S$4.4 billion).

"God knows there are plenty of tariffs the European Union has in place on us", he said.

India on the other hand exports United States dollars 761 million worth of steel to the USA, which is 2.6 per cent of the total import. "They're our allies but they take advantage of us economically".

"Canadians have served alongside Americans in two world wars and in Korea".

In the case of Canada and Mexico, Ross said the decision was based on a lack of progress in the ongoing talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

A final decision on U.S. President Donald Trump's threatened steel and aluminum tariffs is expected by Friday. But the NAFTA talks stalled.

"These are two very different countries", Mr Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump maintains that the U.S. has been unfairly treated in trade with its neighboring and oversees partners.

On the other hand, Canada with USD 7 billion or 40.5 per cent of the exports, is the top supplier of aluminum to the US followed by the EU (USD 1.2 billion or 7.2 per cent).

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