Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Canada could expand trade retaliation, ready if Trump escalates: Freeland

Canada to impose tariff 'countermeasures' on US Liam Fox Blasts Trump's 'Protectionism' Over Steel - But Still Expects Good Deal With US Post-Brexit
Charlie Simmons | 04 June, 2018, 07:29

President Trump announced the tariffs in March, but had given exemptions to the EU, Mexico, and Canada.

The EU and Canada on June 1 lodged complaints against Trump's tariffs with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first step in the trade dispute process through the Geneva-based arbitrator.

After months of negotiation, the Trump administration finally imposed much-talked about tariffs Thursday morning on the United States' closest allies-Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

The United States is making trade concerns related to China more hard to deal with when Washington ignores World Trade Organisation rules in the case of steel and aluminium tariffs, a senior European Union official said.

The Canadian counter tariffs of up to $16.6 billion represent the total value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the US measures, said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland Thursday.

"The EU and United Kingdom should be permanently exempted from tariffs and we will continue to work together to protect and safeguard our workers and industries".

'The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade.

The Commission has drawn up a list of 322 United States products on which it will raise duties from next month.

Ratings agency Moody's has said that the tariffs are credit-negative for European steelmakers.

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The EU has stressed that its industry has also been damaged and offered to work with the U.S. to find a multilateral solution through the World Trade Organisation.

As its first step to challenge the US tariffs, the European Union on Friday formally filed a request for consultations at the WTO.

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.

"This is the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the post-war era", Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told a news conference Thursday.

Mexico also has announced retaliatory measures in response to the new USA tariffs.

"If President Trump wants to target Chinese steel dumping, he should target tariffs at China and not our friends to the north", Stefanik wrote.

The trade actions have opened the U.S.to criticism that it's burning bridges at a time when Trump is seeking to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons and help stabilize the Middle East. From 1790 to 1860, for example, they produced 90 percent of federal revenue, according to "Clashing Over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy" by Douglas Irwin, an economist at Dartmouth College.

The government would be examining the impacts of the tariffs on all sectors, including the defence industry, and the best way to support them, he added.

"If Europe's answer would result in the US imposing additional tariffs, the impact of imposing tariffs on each other could be felt quite quickly, but otherwise probably not", Vitsur explained.

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