USA risks sparking global trade war

The United States was singled out by some of its closest allies Saturday over the imposition of tariffs that they warn will undermine open trade and weaken confidence in the global economy.

Britain has stressed the importance of United Kingdom steel to the American defense industry. But Ross said there was "no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded", and that as a result, Canada and Mexico were added to the list of countries hit with tariffs.

Finance leaders of the closest USA allies vented anger over the Trump administration's metal import tariffs but ended a three-day meeting in Canada on Saturday with no solutions, setting the stage for a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec.

Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the USA, will impose tariffs covering C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) on United States imports, including whiskey, orange juice, steel, aluminium and other products.

The EU is preparing to slap tariffs on United States products, including bourbon, motorcycles, and blue jeans, worth up to 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion).

The two sides will discuss the matter and try to reach a deal.

The European Union struck back at the U.S. a day after President Donald Trump´s administration angered its major allies by slapping duties of 25 percent and 10 percent on imports of aluminium and steel.

"Plans by USA manufacturers to expand will be put on hold indefinitely", said Paul Nathanson, a spokesman for the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, adding, "Companies will be forced into hard choices about technology, investment, and jobs".

European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom says the bloc is taking China to the World Trade Organization over a dispute on intellectual property.

International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says he doesn't want to compare the softwood lumber and metals industries, even though both key sectors of the Canadian economy face import tariffs.

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India's JSW Steel unveiled plans to spend $500 million to modernize an existing plant in Texas and build a new one. France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called the US tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe ".

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"I don't think in any way the U.S.is abandoning its leadership in the global economy, quite the contrary".

The Geneva-based WTO confirmed to AFP they had received the EU´s complaint against the US.

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

Mexico said that the tariffs would "distort worldwide trade" and vowed to penalize United States imports, including pork, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

"There are fears that this marks the start of a negative spiral of measures and countermeasures where there will ultimately be no winners", the company said.

In the joint "chair's summary", they asked their counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to "communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment" to his boss.

It cautions "any escalation is harmful to both sides".

Trudeau rebuked the US tariffs following the announcement, insisting that Canada had no choice but to fight back.

The European Union is planning retaliatory tariffs on USA steel and food goods in the coming weeks, once it calculates the exact cost to European Union companies of the US tariffs.

The purchases Washington wants Beijing to commit to are aimed at reducing the $375 billion USA trade deficit with China.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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