America’s closest allies plan to slap billions of dollars in tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. goods after the Trump administration announced it’s imposing steel and aluminum duties on them.
The reaction was swift after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the U.S. starting Friday will levy duties on the imported metals from the European Union, Mexico and Canada, ending their temporary exemptions.
The EU said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, while Mexico vowed to impose duties on everything from U.S. flat steel to cheese. Canada’s government said it will impose tariffs on as much as C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) of U.S. steel, aluminum and other products from July 1. The allies said their countermeasures are of proportionate value to the U.S. actions.
The decision marks the administration’s most aggressive trade action yet against major U.S. trading partners, which had been fighting for permanent relief. The EU, Canada and Mexico together account for about 40 percent of U.S. steel imports.
“This is a bad day for world trade,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels after the announcement. “It’s totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade.”
The metals tariffs add to mounting worries over a trade war as the Trump administration also considers tariffs on U.S. auto imports -- which could hit top suppliers from Mexico, Canada, Japan and Germany -- and plans to levy duties on $50 billion in Chinese goods. Read more…