Saturday, 2 June 2018

Trade wars

IT'S A TRADE WAR: Europe, Mexico, and Canada retaliate against Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs
  • President Donald Trump announced that the European Union, Canada, and Mexico would soon be subject to steel and aluminium tariffs.
  • The decision angered the three key trading partners.
  • EU leaders promised to retaliate with tariffs on US goods.
  • Mexico’s economy ministry said pork, steel, and other US products would be subject to tariffs

1 June, 2018

It didn’t take long for the European Union, Canada, and Mexico to hit back at the US after the Trump administration announced on Thursday that the three key allies would soon besubject to steel and aluminium tariffs.

The countries lambasted the US decision, calling the move a violation of trade rules and a breakdown of international cooperation.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the steel and aluminium tariffs were “totally unacceptable” and a violation of a centuries-old relationship between the US and Canada.
These tariffs will harm industries and workers on both sides of the Canada-US border and will disrupt supply chains that have made North American steel more competitive across the globe,” Trudeau said.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Trump’s tariffs were “totally unacceptable” and promised to retaliate in due course. “This is a bad day for world trade,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the move illegal. Steffen Seibert, a German-government spokesman, also called the tariffs “unlawful.”
This measure brings the danger of a spiral of escalation, which in the end harms everyone,” Seibert said in a statement.
The Mexican economy ministry also related the country’s displeasure with the new crackdown: “Mexico profoundly regrets and condemns the decision by the United States to impose these tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Mexico.”

The EU, Canada, and Mexico took umbrage with the US’s justification for the tariffs. The Trump administration is using an obscure section from a half-century-old trade law to impose the tariffs on national-security grounds. Yet all three key trading partners insisted that they pose no national security risk to the US and ought to be exempt from the restrictions.

Here’s a rundown of the announced or expected countermeasures from the US allies:

- Mexico: Its government said it would impose “equivalent measures” on US products – including flat steel, lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, and more.

- EU: Juncker said the bloc would move forward with tariffs on equal value to the steel and aluminium measures. The EU had previously released a list of US products that would be subject to tariffs in the event the metal restrictions went into effect. The list included blue jeans, motorcycles, boats, bourbon whiskey, rice, playing cards, and steel.

- Canada: Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that Canada would impose retaliatory tariffs on US goods including steel, aluminium, and more – up to a value of $US16.6 billion. According to Freeland, the tariffs were the “strongest action by Canada in the post-War era.” In addition to the industrial metals, the Canadian tariffs would apply to some consumer products, such as maple syrup, pizza, and toilet paper.

President Donald Trump announced that the European Union, Canada, and Mexico would soon be subject to steel and aluminium tariffs.

The decision angered the three key trading partners.

EU leaders promised to retaliate with tariffs on US goods.

Mexico’s economy ministry said pork, steel, and other US products would be subject to tariffs.

On the brink of a global trade war? | Inside Story

Al – Jazeera

Japan's Abe Hits Back at Trump's Plan to Slap Tariffs on Ally

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hit back at U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to impose higher tariffs on imported vehicles and metals.

"We can’t accept this," Abe said in parliament on Wednesday in response to a question on the already-in-place metal tariffs and the possible introduction of new levies on cars. "From a security perspective, it’s very difficult to understand why this would be imposed on Japan, a military ally."

Trump’s order last week to investigate auto imports for potential trade penalties on national security grounds came as a surprise and quickly drew opposition from the industry, Republican lawmakers and foreign nations. The tariffs, which could be as high as 25 percent, would hurt Japan’s automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp., and damage an economy that shrunk in the first quarter for the first time in two years.

Bye-Bye Benz? Trump Wants to Ban German Luxury Cars From America: Report

Having cornered his European allies over the Iran sanctions, and tightened his grip on the EU economy over metals tariffs, an exclusive report by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche claims that President Trump is taking direct aim at Merkel and is preparing to impose a total ban on German luxury carmakers from the U.S. Market.

Citing several unnamed U.S. and European diplomats, the weekly business magazine reported that Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron last month he would maintain his trade policy with the aim of stopping Mercedes-Benz models from driving down Fifth Avenue in New York.

Canada Retaliates With Tariffs on $12.8 Billion of U.S. Goods

  • Trudeau imposes 25% tariff on steel, 10% on aluminum imports
  • Prime minister ‘deplores’ tariffs; says they’ll hurt Americans

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau retaliated swiftly against President Donald Trump’s metals tariffs by imposing his own levies on as much as C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) of U.S. imports in what Canada calls its strongest trade action since the Second World War.

    Trudeau invoked decades of battles fought alongside the U.S. and defending North American airspace as proof the U.S. tariffs based on a national security investigation are “unacceptable” and “punitive.” The Canadian tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum will aim to match U.S. penalties on a dollar-for-dollar basis, based on export values, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Can US-China talks calm global trade war fears?

As fears of a global trade war escalate, all eyes will be on Beijing this weekend.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to arrive in the Chinese capital on Saturday for talks with trade negotiators from the world's second-biggest economy.

The negotiations come after a rocky week during which the United States tore up a tentative trade truce with Beijing and hit Canada, Mexico and the European Union with big tariffs on metal imports. All three will retaliate.

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