European Union 'will stand up to trade bullies'

Mexico relieved, still wary about NAFTA effects

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday to impose 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

But they appeared to win no quick concessions.

The EU has been trying to secure an exemption on the new USA trade tariffs which have recently been announced by president Donald Trump.

Along with a huge range of steel products, the European Union 's hit list of flagship American products lined up for counter measures includes peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and denim jeans.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also urged negotiations amid fears of a tit-for-tat war that could result in higher prices and reduced growth around the world.

Other countries seeking exemptions from the tariffs will have to make their case through U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, but the president will make the ultimate decision, a senior administration official told reporters Thursday. Canada and Mexico, both members of the North American Free Trade Agreement, also warned that they would take strong countermeasures.

Lighthizer didn't comment publicly after the meetings.

Complicating matters, Trump indicated that the sparing of Australia was linked to an unspecified "security agreement" outside of trade policy. Not fair or sustainable. Trump left the door open to trading partners Canada and Mexico, as well as military allies, being exempt from the measures.

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The European Union and Japan, the United States' top economic and military ally in Asia, also reiterated that their exports were not a threat to USA national security, rejecting Trump's justification for imposing the tariffs.

The writer was chief United States trade negotiator with Japan in the Reagan administration.

The EU said Europe would not waver against trade "bullies" as a row with US President Donald Trump over controversial steel and aluminium tariffs deepened. Instead, they said, Trump is bolstering domestic industries in violation of worldwide trade rules.

And reason number three: We know tariffs and taxes work to level the playing field so American workers can complete fairly in the global marketplace. "Do you know quite how much US steel Canada buys?" said another person familiar with Canada's lobbying effort.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of United States products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs. He was apparently referring to the European Union threats of retaliation. Ultimately, we will all be losers in a global trade war that will particularly harm the most vulnerable in all societies.

Exporting just over A$400 million ($314.32 million) a year ago, Australia is a relatively small supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States.

The U.S. represents 15.7 per cent of United Kingdom vehicle exports and an increased U.S. auto import tariff would likely damage United Kingdom exports.

The tariffs were aimed at China, which has been dumping cheap, subsidized steel into the US and undercutting American producers who have been forced to slash production and jobs. The UK would face higher USA tariffs for its exports and UK consumers would have to pay more for USA products we value and want.

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