US, Europe trade chiefs meet ahead of tariffs deadline

Canada to impose tariff 'countermeasures' on US

The tit-for-tat trade spat comes after nine months of negotiations between Canada, Mexico and the United States to revamp NAFTA bogged down.

The Trump administration removed the exemption to Canada and Mexico from his new 25 per cent tariff on import of steel and 15 per cent on aluminum yesterday.

The move, revealed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, will affect several key United States allies - and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members - in Europe.

The Trump administration's decision to impose punishing new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum could have dire consequences for Canada's defence sector and drive up the price of new military equipment, federal ministers said Thursday.

The average US tariff is now one of the lowest in the world: 1.6 percent, the same as the European Union's, the Pew Research Center reports.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "deeply disappointed" and reiterated a call for Britain and the European Union to be "permanently exempted" from the "unjustified" metals tariffs.

She dismissed the Trump administration's argument that the tariffs are needed for USA national security reasons.

Morneau said he expressed Canada's displeasure with the tariffs during an hourlong meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday.

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Theresa May has broken her silence over the escalating trade war between the U.S. and its allies, saying that the European Union and the United Kingdom should be "permanently exempted" from tariffs.

These countermeasures consist of two lists of goods: one list that will be subject to a 25-per-cent tariff and a second list that will be subject to a 10-per-cent tariff.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, campaigning in advance of the June 7 provincial election, savaged the US president as she called the tariff measure short-sighted and urged Trudeau "to take the strongest retaliation possible to protect our workers" and industry.

"Because, in the end, the effect will fall on voters and citizens that live in districts where the people have a voice and vote in the (U.S.) Congress". They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!' he said. "In terms of the trajectory Trump is on, when you follow what he has done over the course of the a year ago, everything he has threatened, he has followed through on when it comes to trade action", she said.

"Global trade is not a 'Gunfight At OK Corral, '" Maire said. Mexico said it would retaliate with "equivalent" measures against United States products, including pork legs, apples, grapes, cheese, steel and other goods. So it " s not like trade is imbalanced against the U.S. favor on us".

"Canada in North America is increasingly looking to the U.S.as a competitor as opposed to a trade ally", MacKay said.

Justifying US steel tariffs based on national security concerns is "grotesque", according to Germany's steel industry association.

Most economists - Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro is a notable exception - say no.

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