Europe to pursue case against latest United States tariffs at WTO

The Trump administration announced it's imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, a move immediately condemned by America's closest allies.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made the announcement during a call with reporters Thursday morning.

Concerns over the economic hit appeared to be weighing on USA markets following Thursday's announcement, with the Dow Jones industrial average down roughly 175 points, or 0.7%, as of 10:30 am ET.

The countermeasures will hit US hot and cold rolled steel, plated steel and tubes, the ministry said.

Starting Friday, he said, steel imports from those countries will be subject to a 25% tariff, and aluminum imports will be hit with a 10% tariff.

"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", he said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker received the news of President Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on EU exports during a speech about the future of Europe and reacted by promising a trade war. The EU, Canada, Mexico and a number of other countries, however were temporarily exempted from the harsh tariffs for a month. U.S. Steel climbed 3%. "We are getting ready to put in place safeguards, rebalancing measures because we won't let unjustifiable and unjustified measures go unanswered".

United Kingdom business lobby group the CBI also called the tariffs "deeply concerning" while calling on the parties to be cautious, given the potential costs of a trade war.

A stiff tariff on auto imports might also seem to fulfil other objectives of American trade hawks.

On May 23rd, days before a scheduled meeting with the European Union and Japan on a joint trade strategy and in the middle of talks to revamp the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it began an investigation into whether vehicle imports are a threat to America's national security.

The Mexican peso dropped about 1 percent and the Canadian dollar shed about 0.6 percent.


The tariffs come as Group of Seven finance ministers including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and central bank governors prepare to meet in the Canadian resort town of Whistler.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel has announced plans to restart one of two blast furnaces and rehire workers at its Granite City Works outside St. Louis, Ill.

The UK said it was "deeply disappointed" by the United States decision, which followed weeks of negotiations.

He made the comment while outlining Canada's response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The administration is taking the action under a relatively obscure US trade law meant to protect national security.

Mr Trump has the authority to lift the tariffs or alter them at any time, he added. "Nothing", French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday. Shares of BMW (BMWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) fell.

"That Canada could be considered a national-security threat to the United States is inconceivable", said Trudeau, adding that the people of the US are not Canada's target, and that the federal government would far prefer that its hand not be forced.

Canadian and Mexican officials also threatened retaliatory responses but have as yet not indicated which USA products they will target. The EU would respond with "all necessary measures" if the United States imposed them.

The statement reiterated Mexico's openness to constructive dialogue with the United States, its support of worldwide trade and its disapproval of unilateral protectionist measures.

Even some members of Trump's own political party criticized how he was treating USA allies.

"Now is not the time for any disproportionate escalation, and we urge the European Union to consider this when initiating its response", he added.


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