Trump's 'absurd' tariffs central to Morneau's event for already embattled G7

07 June, 2018, 15:01 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau attends the G7 finance ministers meeting in Whistler B.C. Thursday

President Donald Trump says the days of the US being taken advantage of in trade deals "are over" in a harshly worded statement responding to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's criticism of new steel and aluminum tariffs.

"The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it will impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada after a temporary exemption expired on 1 June".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire from farmers at home for saying he's flexible on increasing access to the country's dairy industry, a change sought by Donald Trump in Nafta talks.

Countries around the world are fighting back against President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, announcing retaliatory countermeasures and warning that the US plan will hurt USA consumers.

Mexico has vowed to retaliate with tariffs on American lamps, pork, flat steel, and more. "The United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on Trade", Trump tweeted.

In addition to Canada and the US, the other G7 countries are Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany. "Why is the prime minister waiting three weeks to impose these counter-measures specifically on steel and aluminum when the USA tariffs came into effect right away?" "And on top of that, these tariffs are going to be hurting American workers and Canadian workers".

"Our absolute view is that this is absurd to think that Canada could in any way be a security risk to the United States", Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters at the conference.

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While there may be Canadian-made alternatives, these tariffs will "inflict pain" on domestic firms as some inputs or unique products can not easily be switched or replaced, said Dan Kelly, the chief executive of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Trump has regularly criticized Canada's system, including last week.

"They want a better deal on their auto sector from Mexico, and I think they want more access on certain agriculture products like dairy to Canada", Trudeau said on NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

"If we do not charge fees for selling their products, and they make us pay [duty of] 25%, 50% or even 100%, is unfair", said the President of the United States.

If the WTO hears the complaint, Georgetown law professor Jennifer Hillman says the chances that the organization would side against the US are extremely strong because, "it's a very clear case of a violation".

Trump on Thursday night offered a fresh warning to Trudeau that any renegotiated trade agreement must be "a fair deal". Ryan has said Nafta's biggest problem "comes from the north". However they also target exports from states of significant American political leaders, such as gherkins and yogurt from House Speaker Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, and bourbon from Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's state of Kentucky.

The European Union is also planning a tariff counter strike and filed a request on Friday for consultations with the World Trade Organisation. China pledged then to take steps to "substantially" reduce the US trade deficit, including by buying more American farm goods and energy, though it didn't commit to a dollar amount. Special restrictions related to the trade. The average USA tariff is now one of the lowest in the world: 1.6 per cent, the same as the European Union's, the Pew Research Center reports. "Make no mistake - this is a full-on trade war", President Jerry Dias said.

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