Trump discussed rebalancing trade with France's Macron: White House

04 June, 2018, 07:26 | Author: Diane Mills
  • U.S. President Donald Trump | Alex Wong  Getty Images

And in a separate dispute, China is poised to penalize $50 billion in US goods - many of them produced by supporters of President Donald Trump in the America's agricultural heartland. But they did not sound optimistic.

President Trump in a tweet this morning fired back and said that claims that the US has a "high surplus on trade" with Canada are misleading and the ally is treating American farmers 'very poorly'.

"I did exactly what I said I would do, which is express in strong terms our opposition to these tariffs on the steel and aluminum sector", Morneau told reporters. Barring an 11th-hour reprieve, those exemptions will expire as scheduled.

The 25% levy on steel, along with a 10% tariff on aluminium, will come into effect on Friday with the expiry of an exemption first granted to the EU, Mexico and Canada by Trump in March. In addition, Canada imported more than half of its steel from the USA past year - a figure that's likely to shrink if 25% import taxes persist.

Germany's Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, said no side would win a trade war.

Tariffs on steel imports to the USA can help local producers of the metal by making foreign products more expensive. But they can increase costs more broadly for US manufacturers that cannot source all their needs locally and have to import the materials.

Rising costs especially hurt consumers and companies that rely on imported components.

France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky". The measures will be in place until the USA government drops its tariffs, Mexico's government said.

Washington cited national security reasons for the tariffs.

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Ross criticized the European Union for its tough negotiating position.

"There can be negotiations with or without tariffs in place". The issue about tariffs being slapped on the European Union creates a problem. Ross said there was "no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded and therefore (Canada and Mexico) were added into the list of those who will bear tariffs". He noted that "China has not used that as an excuse not to negotiate".

Steel is the second biggest industry in the world after oil and gas. The EU also started the process of filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization. "It's not about who attacks whom, and then wait and see who is still standing at the end". Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate quickly, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.

The E.U. said it would impose import taxes on politically sensitive items like bourbon from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky.

Ross and Lighthizer seem like the odd men out at this week's gathering at the OECD, an global economic agency that includes the a prominent member.

Those tariffs are meant to increase the price of imports or to punish foreign countries for committing unfair trade practices, like subsidizing their exporters and dumping their products at unfairly low prices.

The OECD also said persistent high oil prices could push up inflation and push down household incomes.

As a tool of national trade policy, tariffs had always been fading into history, a relic of 19th and early 20th centuries that most experts regarded as mutually harmful to all nations involved.


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