US singled out by G7 allies over steel and aluminum tariffs


"American farmers overwhelmingly supported President Trump in 2016 but will not be silent in the face of trade wars that harm USA agriculture".

But on Thursday, Trudeau took on an unfamiliar role: that of Trump critic, The Atlantic writes.The occasion was the announcement that day that the USA would impose tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and the European Union.

The United States had sought to use the tariff threat as a cudgel to win concessions from Canada and Mexico in talks to renegotiate NAFTA, offering the two USA neighbors a permanent exemption if they agreed to US demands.

Trump's latest move amounts to "blackmail" in the NAFTA renegotiation, although it doesn't kill chances of carving out a deal, said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and a veteran of Canada's free trade battles.

In a Twitter message, the American president lashed out at Canada for treating USA farmers "very poorly for a very long period of time". And he repeated his inaccurate claim that Canada runs a trade surplus with the United States.

The administration's actions drew fire from Europe, Canada and Mexico and promises to quickly retaliate against U.S. exports.

Trump's antagonistic trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - drew global denunciation.

Following Saturday's conclusion of a three-day meeting of G7 finance ministers in Canada, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued a summary saying the other six members want Trump to hear their message of "concern and disappointment" over the US trade actions.

Macron pledged the riposte would be "firm" and "proportionate" and in line with World Trade Organization rules.

MacKay said that like with any war, there will be collateral damage, and classified this week's events as "friendly fire".

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the United States was isolated during the discussion on trade.

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Trump on Thursday slapped tariffs as high as 25 percent on metals imported from the European Union, Mexico and Canada....

Finance leaders of the closest USA allies vented anger over the Trump administration's metal import tariffs but ended a three-day meeting in Canada on Saturday with no solutions, setting the stage for a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec.

The Canadian government announced retaliatory tariffs on United States goods that look to go beyond the value of USA tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum.

Ministers urged the quickly abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders' summit before the move causes deeper divisions within the G7.

"That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable". She dismissed the argument that the tariffs were needed for U.S. national security reasons, saying: "Internal security is not relevant". But he exempted Canada, Mexico and the European Union to buy time for negotiations - a reprieve that expired at midnight Thursday. "This is protectionism, pure and simple". Some of the products are clearly created to impact Republican-leaning states, such as Kentucky bourbon.

He further said that the retaliatory tariffs would only be applied to USA goods and would come into effect from July 1.

Germany, by far the biggest exporter to the United States, is keen to avoid a wider trade war, especially as the Trump administration has floated the prospect of tariffs on cars, which would potentially be devastating to German exporters. Mexico's presidential election is one month away and the US congressional midterms follow in the fall.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said this was because negotiations over the past two months have failed to result in a deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has a reputation for playing it safe on burning political issues, showed a new level of grit in the face of two crises, and it may help him win re-election in 2019. "They're our allies but they take advantage of us economically".

In a call to Trump last Friday, Trudeau offered to meet Trump because he felt they were close to an agreement that only required a "final deal-making moment".