'US steel & aluminum tariffs are penny wise, pound foolish'

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

The EU's top trade official has employed strong rhetoric as the row with US President Donald Trump over steel and aluminum tariffs heats up following fruitless talks.

Trump signed an order imposing 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on March 8.

"Make no mistake - this was a true Team Canada effort and it will continue to be, moving forward", he told a news conference at the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum plant in Saguenay, about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers. "We back the United States' right to do that".

After pressure from allies, the USA has opened the way for more exemptions from tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminium that President Donald Trump set last week.

Heritage, in fact, reported in late February that Trump during his first year in the White House has embraced 64 percent of the policy recommendations by the conservative think tank.

Canada and Mexico are exempt due to ongoing NAFTA renegotiations. "We know that the collaboration on NORAD, the collaboration on national security issues narrow and broadly is something that is really important to both of our countries".

In response to the move, the European Union said that it could impose tariffs on jeans, motorbikes, peanut butter and orange juice originating from the US.

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"China doesn't want to fight a trade war, nor would we take initiatives to ignite a trade war", he said. China has repeatedly vowed to defend its "legitimate rights and interests" if targeted by USA trade actions.

China said Sunday that it will not initiate a trade war with the United States, but vowed to defend its national interests in the face of growing American protectionism. Diplomatic and U.S. business sources say the United States has frozen a formal mechanism for talks on commercial disputes with China because it is not satisfied Beijing has met its promises to ease market restrictions. It is very counterproductive.

But Mr Turnbull says Australia has a strong anti-dumping regime and it is prepared for steel imports. But Zhong said communications have not been completely broken off. He called for a multilateral approach rather than multiple bilateral actions.

The Commission said it expected to be in contact with Washington over the metals tariffs this week, but that no formal talks had been scheduled. Brazil, which is the second biggest supplier of steel to the United States after Canada, remains open for a dialogue to reach an understanding with the United States and is talking to other countries to learn about measures they are considering, he said.

Being forced to rule on the Trump tariffs "would put the WTO in a tough spot", DeBusk says.

The negotiations between the European Union and U.S. are to win an exception for Europe from the tariffs, with Brussels seeking clarity on how to achieve that.

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