The Trump administration has announced a move that is almost certain to trigger retaliation by its own allies. The Trump administration announced that it is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. The Decision came hours before temporary exemption were due to elapse at 12:01 am in Washington on Friday.
As per expert, the move marks the Trump’s most aggressive trade action yet against major US trading partners, which had been asking for permanent relief.
The announcement was made by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and immediately it drew retaliatory action by Mexico, Canada and threats of the same by the EU, while France calling the move as ïllegal”.
The White has justified its action saying that the tariffs first imposed in March-25% duties on steel and 10% on aluminium- have had major positive effects on steel and aluminium workers and jobs.
Trump administration said, “this action underscores its commitment to good-faith negotiations with our allies to enhance our national security while supporting American workers.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has enjoyed a warm relationship with Trump, “deplored” the US move declaring it “illegal.”
And Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the US tariffs were “totally unacceptable,” and “an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States.”
He vowed to challenge the action in the World Trade Organisation and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In response, Canada announced Can$16.6 billion (US$12.8 billion) in retaliatory duties on US goods, including potentially on beef, coffee, candies, plywood and surprisingly, maple syrup, as well as steel and aluminum.
Mexico said it will impose retaliatory duties on a variety of US goods, including steel and a host of agricultural goods, including pork, apples and various cheeses.
EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28-nation bloc “will announce in the next coming hours counter-balancing measures” in response to the US action.
Brussels previously threatened to slap tariffs on US products including bourbon, motorcycles and blue jeans, as well as other products.