U.S. Allies Rebuke Trump Administration's Trade Actions At G7 Meeting

04 June, 2018, 02:50 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Allies in G7 vow to fight US tariffs see threat to growth

"These unilateral tariffs, imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security, are inconsistent with the United States' worldwide trade obligations and WTO rules", Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

President Donald Trump announced last week that the United States would place 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

On Thursday, Trudeau announced that the country would impose its own tariffs on United States' goods in retaliation to Washington D.C.'s steel and aluminium tariffs. Mexico complained the tariffs will "distort global trade" and said it would penalize USA imports including pork, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau on Friday slammed the White House claim that it was imposing new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum to protect American national security interests.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California also defended the tariffs, saying Trump was "standing up" to protect USA interests.

Trudeau, in an interview aired on Sunday by NBC's "Meet the Press", said it was "insulting" to hear the USA claim that Canadian steel and aluminum posed a national security threat.

"We're putting the same kinds of tariffs exactly on steel and aluminum coming from the United States into Canada to be directly reciprocal". The group includes Canada, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States.

Kudlow added, "To say that it is an attack on Canada is not right".

Ottawa immediately hit back with proportional Can$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion US) in tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum as well as consumer goods.

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American consumers could face price rises for products ranging from jeans to peanut butter as the global community considers countermeasures in response to us trade tariffs. He added: "This is a trade dispute, if you will".

Canada's minister of foreign affairs has a message for the United States: "Please think hard about the message you're sending to your closest allies". They cite a 35 per cent drop in steel industry jobs in America over the last 20 years as foreign steel displaced US production and a 58 per cent drop in aluminum production jobs between 2013 and 2016.

The statement singled out the Americans, the largest and most important member of the G-7, saying "decisive action" is needed at a leaders summit next week in Quebec.

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

In addition to asking the U.S.to reconsider and reverse the tariffs, the six finance leaders noted that because of the actions taken by the US, "collaboration and cooperation has been put at risk".

"I would say it has been far more a G-6 plus one than a G-7", said Le Maire.

On Thursday the White House said the exemptions were being lifted because no satisfactory arrangement had been reached. "Do Timber & Lumber in US?"

Trudeau said he refused to go because of the "totally unacceptable" precondition. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - who was the prime target of criticism at the meeting - held a separate press conference and said the U.S. wants to ensure fair and balanced trade.

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