Trump to impose steel, aluminium tariffs on EU

Trump to impose steel, aluminium tariffs on EU

Trump to impose steel, aluminium tariffs on EU

President Trump had announced the tariffs in March, but gave several USA allies temporary exemptions while they negotiated potential limits on shipments to the United States.

The United States will slap tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed Thursday.

The two sources briefed on the matter said the decision would land before a Friday expiration deadline for exemptions to the planned tariffs.

More details to follow ...

Trump invoked a 1962 trade law to erect protections for U.S. steel and aluminium producers on national security grounds, amid a worldwide glut of both metals that is largely blamed on excess production in China. The E.U. shares many of Washington's concerns about China's efforts to acquire advanced technology through compulsory licensing practices, cybertheft and other measures.

Ross, however, does not expect trade talks to be derailed because of the U.S' move.

"We will have to see what's their reaction", he said.

"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", the U.S. commerce chief told reporters.

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Europe has been bracing for the U.S.to place the restrictions even as top European officials have held last-ditch talks in Paris with American trade officials to try to avert the tariffs.

The Commission has said the European Union will set duties $3.4 billion of US exports, including peanut butter and denim jeans, if its metals exports to the United States worth $7.5 billion are subject to tariffs. We have worked in an extremely intensive manner in recent weeks to avoid the increase in tariffs, to allow for an evolution towards freer markets.

One source close to the NAFTA negotiations said Ms. Freeland informed Mr. Lighthizer that ending Canada's exemption on steel and aluminum tariffs would be a clear signal that the Americans are not that interested in reaching a NAFTA deal.

Economists say the standoff with the European Union could tip toward a trade war, particularly after Trump last week launched another national security investigation into vehicle and truck imports that could lead to new U.S. tariffs.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky".

More than 60 percent of U.S. auto imports - an industry that closely binds United States and Canadian manufacturing - come from G7 countries, as well as more than 50 percent of aluminium imports and almost 36 percent of steel.

With negotiations going nowhere, Trump made a decision to go forward with the tariffs.

"We would operate within (multilateral) frameworks if we were convinced that people would move quickly", he said.

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