Legal challenge against US, China: ‘Door to trade negotiations with US closed’

Legal challenge against US, China: ‘Door to trade negotiations with US closed’

Legal challenge against US, China: ‘Door to trade negotiations with US closed’

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross dropped a bombshell when he said Washington would proceed with 25 per cent tariffs on Canadian steel and 10 per cent tariffs on Canadian aluminum, using a national-security clause in U.S. trade law to justify the move. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1per cent, and the S&P 500 shed 0.69 per cent on Thursday.

However, the Canadian lumber industry has been less damaged than had been anticipated as duties imposed by the US government have been passed on to USA consumers in the form of higher prices.

Already under fire for his combative trade policies, President Donald Trump on Friday intensified pressure on Canada, demanding that America's neighbor and close ally "open their markets and take down trade barriers".

"I am deeply disappointed at the unjustified decision by the U.S. to apply tariffs to European Union steel and aluminium imports".

She said: "We are not seeking to escalate any situation but we need to respond and we'll do so in a measured manner, but not responding would be the same as accepting these tariffs which we consider are illegal".

The shadow minister called on Prime Minister Theresa May to "stand up" to Trump and stop letting steel workers down.

Britain issued a statement saying, in part: "We will defend the UK's interests robustly".

Mexico, too, said it would impose retaliatory duties on a variety of U.S. goods, including steel and a host of agricultural goods, including pork, apples and various cheeses.

His strong words followed swift responses to his tariffs by Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which all plan to retaliate with levies on billions of dollars of United States goods from orange juice and whiskey to blue jeans and Harley-Davidsons. The Mexican peso dropped about 1%, hitting its weakest level against the dollar in almost 15 months, and the Canadian dollar shed about 0.6%.

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"It has been a tense and tough G7 - I would say it's been far more a G6 plus one than a G7", said Le Maire, who called the tariffs unjustified. Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc fell 2.2% and Brown-Forman Corp, maker of Early Times and other bourbon brands, lost 2.1%.

Canada unveiled a package of counter-tariffs on U.S. imports valued at Can$16.6 billion (US$12.8 billion).

Canadian authorities said they would take retaliatory steps, responding to the USA metal tariffs, according to government sources, as quoted by Canadian TV channel Global News.

But in the case of Canada and Mexico, he said the decision was based on making progress in the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks, and there is no resolution in sight.

"The EU and United Kingdom should be permanently exempted from tariffs and we will continue to work together to protect and safeguard our workers and industries", Mrs May said. The countries had been granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs introduced by the White House on March 1.

The impact of the tariffs will likely be "small", only affecting 0.8 per cent of annual Canadian output, TD senior economists said in a note. A previous steel dispute with the United States in 2002 took one and a half years with a final decision that fell in favour of the EU. Shares of Century Aluminum Co jumped 3.3% but Alcoa Corp shed 0.9%.

The EU would take "all necessary measures" to respond if the U.S. did impose tariffs, Mr Le Maire warned.

Trump castigated Canada in a tweet on Friday morning, saying it had treated United States farmers "very poorly for a very long period of time".

An official at the WTO, which oversees disputes in global trade, said the body had received a request from the European Union for consultations with the United States concerning tariffs it imposed on steel and aluminum.

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