Steel & Aluminum Tariffs 'Against Agreed International Rules,' Per EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom

Cecilia Malmström Commissioner for Trade during the press conference about EU measures to counter balance US tariffs

The move would be the latest trade attack on Canada from its largest trading partner: Mr. Trump has accused the country of "taking advantage" of the United States under NAFTA and wants the pact overhauled. In fact, U.S. Commerce Department numbers show, the United States recorded a trade surplus with Canada for each of the past three years.

Malmstrom said the Trump measures "will cause a lot of damage to our steel and aluminum industry".

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement Friday that he told Trump in a phone call that the new USA tariffs on European, Mexican and Canadian goods are illegal and a "mistake".

The bloc also opened proceedings against China, the world's second-biggest economy, in a case involving intellectual property, in an effort to not single out the U.S., the European Union said.

She warned that the decision would effect USA defence projects.

"This is stupid. It's counterproductive", former British trade minister Francis Maude told BBC.

Tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium were imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico from midnight in Washington.

Speaking after the meeting, Le Maire said the European Union was poised to take counter-measures against the new USA tariffs.

"The U.S. measures are a protectionist intervention in global trade and run counter to the principles of the WTO (World Trade Organization)", Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl said in a statement on Thursday.

That meeting, which will be hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be Trump's first visit to Canada as president. Trump announced last month that he was pulling the United States out of an worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran.

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She criticized Trump's decision and pointed out that the tariffs have got nothing to do with national security. "People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries".

In a statement, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said "this is protectionism, pure and simple".

Mexico struck back swiftly after the United States announced today that it would impose tariffs on Mexican metal imports.

"Will the rest of Europe turn their attention to Germany and say look, Trump has a problem with you and we are suffering the consequences". Canada is also considering imposing levies on high-profile US -made consumer goods and luxury items, with the goal of hurting the United States in a visible way without damaging Canada's economy by restricting necessary imports. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is leaving Friday for Beijing for talks aimed at preventing a trade war with China.

Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each.

His tweet came Friday, the same day steel and aluminum tariffs were scheduled to take effect against Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Trudeau spoke with Trump by phone earlier this week.

"We will now trigger a dispute settlement case at the WTO since the USA measures on steel and aluminum clearly go against agreed global rules", she said.

"I think that we've all had just about enough of Donald Trump...."

Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron made their cases separately Wednesday to dissuade Trump, who is using a national-security clause in US trade law to justify the move. 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.

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