Chamber of Commerce: Trump trade policies threaten United States jobs

06_01_Steel_tariffs

The US was on Saturday singled out by some of its closest allies over the imposition of tariffs that they warn would undermine open trade and weaken confidence in the global economy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that he'd offered to go to Washington this week to complete the talks, thinking they were close to an agreement, but that Vice President Mike Pence called him and told him a meeting with the US president would only happen if Trudeau agreed to put a five-year sunset clause into the deal.

He said Canadians are insulted to be deemed a security threat when "our solders ... fought and died together on the beaches of World War II and the mountains of Afghanistan and have stood shoulder to shoulder in some of the most hard places".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday dubbed trade tariffs imposed by the United States as insulting and unacceptable.

The Canadian foreign minister said on Thursday that her country will impose retaliatory tariffs on up to 16.6 billion Canadian dollars (12.8 billion USA dollars) worth of US steel, aluminum and other products. "You sell more things to us every year than to the United Kingdom and Japan and China combined", he told NBC.

Trudeau earlier deplored a decision by Trump to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. "But we see no sign of that in this action today by the United States administration", the prime minister said.

"And it's going to be done now", Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday.Describing the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a bad deal for the United States, Trump said people were starting to see it.

The European Commission's president, Jean-Claude Juncke, said Trump's action amounted to trade protectionism and Europe would respond.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, whose country's steel and aluminum producers have been paying the United States metals tariffs since March 23, called the United States action "deeply deplorable".

G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders' summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as "tense and tough". "It can be resolved, if people work together". And look, the American worker agrees with me.

The Trump administration announced last Thursday it was putting a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, Mexico and countries in the European Union.

"At the G7 meeting in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler, British Columbia, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he expressed to Mnuchin "our absolute view that this is absurd that Canada could in any way be a security risk".

Trump said on Friday he might prefer to end NAFTA in favor of separate bilateral agreements with the two USA neighbors.

"I don't think we're satisfied yet that they will protect or uphold all the shipments of steel coming into Canada from around the world. this transshipping effort is something that has been troubling to us", Kudlow said.

All six of the other G7 countries - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - are now paying the metals tariffs, which are largely aimed at curbing excess production in China.

Mr. Trump has pushed relations between Canada and its largest trading partner to their tensest point in recent memory: American tariffs on steel and aluminum have sparked a trade war over more than $30-billion worth of goods.

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