Macron pledged the riposte would be “firm” and “proportionate” and in line with World Trade Organization rules. U.S. trading partners had demanded that the exemptions be extended or made permanent. They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso also told reporters on Friday he nearly “felt sorry” for Mnuchin given the heft of complaints on trade.
“And nationalism is war. That’s exactly what happened in the 30s”, he added.
Earlier Thursday, Wilbur Ross, in announcing the steel and aluminum tariffs against USA allies, including Canada and Mexico, said the NAFTA talks were “taking longer than we had hoped” to complete.
Instead, the American president ignored Germany’s pleas and doubled down on protectionism by threatening a separate wave of duties on vehicle imports in a direct affront to German automakers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1 per cent and the S&P 500 shed 0.69 per cent. Shares of industrial heavyweights Boeing and Caterpillar both fell, with Boeing down 1.7 per cent and Caterpillar down 2.3 per cent.
The tariffs, which have prompted several challenges at the WTO, are aimed at allowing the United States steel and aluminum industries to increase their capacity utilization rates above 80 percent for the first time in years.
Trump first announced the fees in March, saying they were a national security issue because unfair competition from foreign producers of steel and aluminum damages the US.
Trump had been widely expected to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports after failing to win concessions from the European Union. It’s now tariffs for everybody, including the United States’ closest military allies.
Canada, European Union and Mexico called the tariffs “protectionism, pure and simple”, and promised to retaliate.
The European Commission said that it could take asymmetric measures, targeting classic American products such as Levi’s jeans, Harley-Davidson motorbikes and bourbon whiskey.
The statement was an apparent response to remarks made by a frustrated Trudeau earlier Thursday, when he announced retaliatory tariffs. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also said the EU would respond with penalties of its own on USA exports.
The administration has repeatedly used tariffs as part of get-tough trade policies, with China still awaiting a presidential decision. According to Freeland, the tariffs were the “strongest action by Canada in the post-War era”.
Trudeau on Thursday said he felt the U.S., Mexico and Canada were on the verge of a renegotiated NAFTA that he described as a “win, win, win” before the talks stalled after the Pence phone call.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Trump administration’s argument that the tariffs were necessary for national security reasons was an “affront” to Canada, which has fought alongside the U.S.in numerous armed conflicts. But the NAFTA talks stalled.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that these tariffs were important for national security. US military demand for steel and aluminum is small, representing only about 3 percent of domestic production. But the two sides could not reach an agreement. That’s on par with the value of Canadian steel and aluminum exports to the United States. “A lot of people taking advantage of us, a lot of countries taking advantage of us, really terribly taking advantage of us”.
The 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum will be imposed effective midnight.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and several leading Republicans in Congress were critical of the administration’s tariff action.
G7 finance ministers have sent “a message of regret and disappointment” to President Donald Trump over his tariff decision.