G7 finance chiefs kick trade dispute to leaders' summit in Quebec

Jun 03, 2018, 20:33
G7 finance chiefs kick trade dispute to leaders' summit in Quebec

The action comes on the same day that the EU launched a WTO dispute resolution process over U.S. tariff hikes on steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

Trump's move makes good on his campaign vows to crack down on trading partners that he claims exploit poorly negotiated trade agreements to run up big trade surpluses with the United States.

Countries around the world are already fighting back, announcing retaliatory countermeasures and warning that the US plan will hurt USA consumers. The European Union plans to slap tariffs of 25% on roughly 200 American products, including orange juice, as soon as June 20.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he offered to go to Washington this week to complete talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade agreement but that Vice President Mike Pence called and told him a meeting with the USA president would only happen if Trudeau agreed to put a five-year sunset clause into the deal.

The Prime Minister said she was "disappointed" at the decision to impose a 25% duty on European steel and a 10% duty on European aluminium, which both came into effect on Friday.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the USA defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau said.

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She added: "This is further weakening the transatlantic relations and it also increases the risk of severe turbulences in the markets globally".

The freshly introduced metal tariffs reportedly threaten €6.4 billion ($7.4 billion) worth of European exports to the US.

The EU has already issued a 10-page list of tariffs on United States goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to bourbon.

Canada's softwood lumber sector has been dealing with the latest US tariffs to hit the industry for almost a year, handing over more than $200 million in 2017 to cover duties of about 20 per cent of the value of all exports.

The American exports targeted in the initial wave of European Union retaliatory tariffs are worth roughly €2.8 billion ($3.3 billion) annually, according to European Union officials. "Instead of imposing piecemeal tariffs on our trading partners, he should comprehensively and fundamentally re-write all of our failed unfettered trade policies to stop the race to the bottom and lift living standards in the USA and throughout the world".

The U.S. decision came despite last-minute talks in Paris this week to try to reach a deal.

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The news organization reports House Speaker Paul Ryan said there were better means to help American makers of steel and aluminum, and that he hopes to show Trump the other options.

Echoing Canadian President Justin Trudeau, Malmström said that the tariffs would hurt jobs in the U.S.as well.

Labour's shadow worldwide trade secretary Barry Gardiner earlier warned the UK Government to "strongly respond" to the move.

Trudeau said he regrets the action but said they must do it.

Ross, who was preceded in Beijing this week by more than 50 US officials, is expected during the two-day visit to try and secure long-term purchases of USA farm and energy commodities to help shrink the US trade deficit.

The import duties will give a boost to American makers of steel and aluminum by making foreign metals more expensive. "So it's not like the trade is imbalanced against the USA favor on this".

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