EU weighs retaliatory measures to Trump's metal tariffs

Eloise Marshall
March 13, 2018

The latest talks, which began in Mexico City last week, have been clouded by U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

'We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada.

This comes as the U.S.is renegotiating terms of NAFTA with Canada and Mexico. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on steel and aluminium will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed, ” Trump said.

"Hitting out at Mexico, the US President tweeted, ".treat our farmers much better. "Millions of people addicted and dying". "We will soon be starting reciprocal taxes so that we will charge the same thing as they charge us", he said.

On Friday, he tweeted that "trade wars are good and easy to win" - one of his most ridiculous tweets ever, which is saying a lot.

"We are not looking to get into trade wars", he said.

But in his remarks Tuesday, Trump also didn't back down from some of his more aggressive rhetoric on trade wars.

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"No, we're not backing down", Trump said in response to questions about the proposed new tariffs.

AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Monday that Ryan was asking Trump not to go forward with the new trade measures. He has vowed to use whatever tools necessary to change this, but many economists and others warn that tariffs and protectionist policies could hurt the overall USA economy.

"By people representing us who didn't have a clue", Trump said last week.

Officials have so far been evasive when asked how the three nations can continue trying to update NAFTA at a time when the United States president is about to take a highly protectionist measure.

The EU's retaliatory list targets imports from the US of shirts, jeans, cosmetics, other consumer goods, motorbikes and pleasure boats worth around 1 billion euros; orange juice, bourbon whiskey, corn and other agricultural products totaling 951 million euros; and steel and other industrial products valued at 854 million euros.

Trump has come under fire from worldwide allies and lawmakers at home for the tariffs, which he said would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. China's National People's Congress spokesperson Zhang Yesui has already threatened to retaliate if the USA goes ahead with the proposed steel/aluminium tariffs.

Still, he dismissed concerns about a trade war. More steel imports come from our allies - Canada, Japan and South Korea.

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