Trump Takes Aim at Canada as US Protest His Tariffs

May attacks Trump's 'unjustified' move to slap tariffs on EU imports

The EU took the United States to the World Trade Organisation to challenge the legality of the new tariffs and the Trump administration's national security justification.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom added that the US, through months of negotiations, threatened steep tariffs in order to obtain trade concessions from the EU. Ross said there was "no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded and therefore (Canada and Mexico) were added into the list of those who will bear tariffs".

She said: "It could escalate and also the economic recovery that we have seen lately, notably in the European Union but globally, risks to be diminished by this". European officials argue that tit-for-tat tariffs will hurt growth on both sides of the Atlantic and Canada said before the announcement that it would respond in kind.

European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28-nation bloc "will announce in the next coming hours counterbalancing measures" in response to the United States action. "We are expecting everybody to play by the rules".

"The probability of a cold trade war turning hot has now risen, but still remains a worst case scenario".

These items include yogurt, coffee, sugar, toilet paper, sailboats, mattresses, washing machines and lawn mowers - all aimed at exerting pressure on key U.S. states that export a lot to Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday he was dumbfounded by Washington's national security basis for the tariffs, given that United States and Canadian troops had fought together in World War II, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

But he saw as "a very worrying development" Washington's justification that the measures were needed for reasons of national security.

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

"We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved", US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. "The US economy will suffer as much as any other economy".

More news: North Korean envoy to meet USA secretary of state Pompeo

In a March 2 Twitter post, he declared trade wars "good, and easy to win", though later he denied the US and China are in one.

"We have a huge problem with the American government, with the White House", Moisi said. Noting her discussions with USA officials, she said.

"We have some issues between us, we discussed them at length over the last years and obviously this will continue to be issues we will address", the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, told the same press conference.

Even some Trump allies in Congress said the trade moves were misguided.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement late Wednesday that Canada has expanded the scope of its country of origin marking regime for steel and aluminum products to better determine where they come from.

Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the US can help local producers of the metals by making foreign products more expensive.

But as part of the efforts to address outstanding trade disputes, Europe will present a complaint before the World Trade Organisation against China's intellectual property practices, it confirmed on Friday.

"Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to U.S. industry including in defence projects which bolster USA national security", she said.

At the Group of Seven ministerial meeting in Canada, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin faced stern reactions from his counterparts, who accused Trump of jeopardizing the world economy with steps that would prove job killers for all concerned.

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