European Union slams trade 'bullies' as Trump tariffs row deepens
13 March, 2018, 04:33 | Author: Laverne Higgins
Canadian prime minister Justice Trudeau in an interview on Monday said Ottawa will not link United States metal tariffs to NAFTA negotiations.
The US president said he will have the right to raise or lower tariffs on certain countries, or add or drop countries from being exempted from tariffs.
According to Malmstrom, the Trump administration is using trade "to threaten and intimidate" Europeans, and that trade has become "a scapegoat".
Over the weekend, Mr Trump argued that the USA has been abused economically by the European Union, saying they were "wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade".
Last week, Trump issued a presidential proclamation imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports after a Department of Commerce report, called Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Steel and Aluminum, was released, citing the amount of US steel imports as a threat to USA national security and detrimental to the domestic steel and aluminum industry. At the time of the signing, Trump had included exemptions only for US North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico.
President Donald Trump on Monday said US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will talk to European Union representatives about lowering their tariffs and other barriers to US products.
In revealing those measures, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker taunted Trump, saying the EU could match "stupid with stupid". The Commission spokesman also pointed to U.S. import duties of up to 48 per cent on shoes, 12 per cent on textiles and 164 per cent on groundnuts. They recommended tariffs, import quotas or both.
In a comment, the Chinese Commerce Minister said that a trade war with America would only have catastrophic consequences for the world economy.
Over the weekend, the bloc met with United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer to resolve the tariff row, but did not come to an agreement.
But economists said the net impact of the tariffs on the USA economy is negative, because they benefit just a small slice of the economy, while harming almost everyone else. "If anyone starts throwing stones, it's better first make sure he's not living in a glass house", the European Commission said in a statement. The timing of this action is unfortunate - not just because of the synchronised economic recovery in many parts of the world but also just when Indian steel exports have starting rising.
Asked what he would do if Trump changed course and slapped duties on Canada, Trudeau said, "we'll see when we get to that point".
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