Outrage in EU, Canada and Mexico over Trump's tariffs

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, the steelworkers' union, said steelworkers on both sides of the Atlantic had been let down by their governments.

Dr Fox said the United States was using a national security pretext for what is "just protectionism".

At time of writing Mexico had also announced tariffs on American pork bellies, grapes, apples and flat steel.

Meanwhile, South Korea negotiated a steel quota, while Argentina, Australia and Brazil have arranged for "limitations on the volume they can ship to the U.S. in lieu of tariffs", Ross said.

Trump announced worldwide steel and aluminum tariffs in March but granted exemptions to some major trading partners.

In his direct conversations with the US president, Trudeau said, he stressed the "interconnectedness of the Canadian and American economies" and the dire negative consequences both would likely face if the tariff threat went ahead.

Critical over the tough negotiating position of the EU by Ross, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier thought otherwise and said that the Europeans were willing to negotiate special trade arrangements, notably for liquefied natural gas and industrial goods, including cars.

The American International Automobile Dealers Association, the American Automotive Policy Council, and even MillerCoors issued statements against the tariffs when they were first announced. Talks will continue, Ross said, and the president could unilaterally decrease tariffs also.

Last March, the European Union prepared a list of possible tariffs on American goods, including orange juice, peanut butter, clothing, whiskey, boats and motorcycles.

NAFTA negotiations are "taking longer than we had hoped".

"These tariffs are hitting the wrong target", added House Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady, saying Europe, Mexico and Canada "are not the problem - China is". Now the tariffs on Canada, Europe and Mexico will take effect Friday morning.

The US action saw Mr Trump accused of firing the opening shot in an global trade war. "For every one job in the US steel industry that could be protected by this tariff, there are about 80 jobs in manufacturing industries that use steel".

But, speaking on CNBC, Mr Ross said any retaliatory measures against the U.S. would be "unlikely to have much effect" on the USA economy.

"Realistically, I do not think we can hope" to avoid either USA tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum, said Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's trade commissioner.

NAFTA talks continue, with a deal needed probably within days to have any hope of passing the current US congress and with Mexican elections one month away.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom added that the US, through months of negotiations, threatened steep tariffs in order to obtain trade concessions from the EU.

"By targeting those who are not responsible for overcapacities, the U.S. is playing into the hands of those who are responsible for the problem".

Turning to the WTO would give the European Union a second response to the tariffs.

"Theresa May and her Government have approached the ongoing crisis with utter complacency and have proved too feeble to stand up to Trump when it was most needed", said the Sheffield Brightside MP.

The U.S. Beer Institute says its members, which includes Denver- and Montreal-based Molson Coors Brewing Co., are united against the tariffs on imported aluminum.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the import duties are a "tax hike on Americans". "As stated time and time again, the only sustainable solution to the root cause of the issue, global overcapacity in steel production, is multilateral discussions and action through established worldwide channels". "They're critical for national security".

The three allies were previously given temporary exemptions from the duties - 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. It makes up two-thirds of their USA packaging costs. Companies are likely to pass on their higher costs to consumers, experts say.

"It is totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade".

Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, called Thursday's decision "tragic" and said it flew in the face of a long history of military, economic and diplomatic co-operation between the two countries.

In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: "These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term". You saw his reaction when China made a decision to retaliate.

He said he would travel to China on Friday for trade talks this weekend.

"We must ensure our markets are not destabilised by millions of tonnes of steel being diverted away from the USA and into Europe", Henrik Adam, chief commercial officer of Tata Steel in Europe, said in a statement.

  • Zachary Reyes