US singled out by G7 allies over steel and aluminum tariffs

A worker inspects coiled steel at Dofasco in Hamilton Ont.					Tara Walton  Canadian Press

President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser is brushing off concerns over escalating trade disputes with a host of USA allies as nothing but a "family quarrel".

Trump's tweet came a day after he ignited global condemnation by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and two other key U.S. allies - the European Union and Mexico.

Canada and Mexico, which are embroiled in talks with the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, responded to the US move by announcing levies of their own on a variety of American exports.

The trade actions have opened the U.S.to criticism that it's burning bridges at a time when Trump is seeking to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons and help stabilize the Middle East.

Fraught high-level meetings between the world's top economies were due to draw to a close on Saturday as the United States faced a unified opposition to President Donald Trump's escalating, multi-front trade offensive.

Likewise, the Trump trade team sought to use the tariff threat to pressure Europe into reducing barriers to United States products.

Washington cited national security reasons for the tariffs.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said G-7 countries also told Mnuchin about their opposition to new USA sanctions on Iran, which will affect European companies.

Germany's Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, warned that the decision could start a trade war that no side would win.

Top European officials held last-ditch talks in Paris with American trade officials to try to avert USA tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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

For the European Union, a decision on just how far to push back will require agreement among the 28 member states that make up the world's biggest trade bloc.

Mexico complained the tariffs will "distort worldwide trade" and said it would penalize USA imports including pork, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

The Trump administration is using the so-called Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act from 1962, a decades-old law, to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products on the ground of national security, which has drawn strong opposition from the domestic business community and US trading partners.

Comedian Roseanne Barr says she 'begged' ABC to not cancel her show
Trump wrote that Iger never called him to apologize for "the disgusting statements" that have been said about him on ABC. The latter statement was accompanied by an old tweet by Barr.

Countries around the world fought back on Friday against President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, announcing retaliatory countermeasures and warning that the USA plan will hurt U.S. consumers.

As for the U.S.'s national security argument, Fox said, "In the case of the United Kingdom, we send steel to the USA that is vital to their defence industry; it is patently absurd". "The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable", he further said.

All six of the other G7 countries are now paying the tariffs, which are largely aimed at curbing excess production in China.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who will be at the G7 table with the seven other country leaders, expressed strong opposition to Thursday's decision.

Some of the products are clearly created to impact Republican-leaning states, such as Kentucky bourbon.

She said that China is to be blamed for the problems identified by the US, and not the EU.

Secretary Ross made it clear thta restructuring tariffs on US goods is a high priority for the Trump administration.

Following the conclusion today of a three-day meeting of G7 finance ministers in Whistler, B.C., Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued issued a chair's summary that says the other six members want Trump to hear their message of "concern and disappointment" over the USA trade actions.

The world's two biggest economies have threatened to impose tariffs on up to $200 billion worth of each other's products. Canada also pledged to fight back with its own measures.

The G7 leaders' summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will also mark Trump's first visit to Canada as president.

"These are two very different countries", Mr Trump told reporters at the White House.

Mexico announced what it described as "equivalent" measures on a wide range of U.S. farm and industrial products, including pork legs, apples, grapes, cheese, steel and other goods.

Mexico announced it will retaliate with duties on U.S. products including fruit, pork bellies, cheese and flat steel. According to a press release, issued by the Commission via Europa.eu, it is determined to shield the European Union steel and aluminum markets from damage caused by additional imports that might be coming into the European Union as a result of the closure of the USA market. Japanese metal producers have been paying the tariffs since March 23.

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