European Union joins global battle against Trump tariffs, Europe News & Top Stories

While many countries share US frustration over Chinese trade and economic practices, critics of USA policy under President Donald Trump have warned that Washington risks alienating the European Union, Canada and Mexico with 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. "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", USA commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "The president has said that he believes he could win a trade war, we think that a trade war is in nobody's interests".

Mexico complained that the tariffs will "distort global trade" and said it will penalize USA imports including pork, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

The freshly introduced metal tariffs reportedly threaten €6.4 billion ($7.4 billion) worth of European exports to the US.

The EU said these circumstances did not comply with the basic rights that companies should have under the WTO rules and disciplines, particularly under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). The European Union plans to slap tariffs of 25% on roughly 200 American products, including orange juice, as soon as June 20.

"We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs".

"We have to keep things in proportion", he said on the French radio station France Info.

The EU is set to retaliate with tariffs on a range of USA goods from Harley-Davidson HOG.N motorcycles to blue jeans and bourbon whiskey. Earlier this week, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Reuters that the EU's response to the tariffs must be "clear, strong, and smart".

China's exports have mushroomed since joining the World Trade Organisation in 2001, making it the world's second-largest economy.

She said: "We are not seeking to escalate any situation but we need to respond and we'll do so in a measured manner, but not responding would be the same as accepting these tariffs which we consider are illegal".

The US decided the tariffs in March, but gave Canada and the European Union - the biggest sources of foreign aluminium and steel for the US - a grace period that ended on May 31. The countries had been granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs introduced by the White House on March 1.

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

Against this backdrop, we highlight some industries that could be impacted the most by the tariffs.

"But we see no sign of that in this action today by the USA administration", Trudeau said. Canada's already announced it'll hit USA imports worth nearly 13 billion dollars.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. "It's Donald Trump's failure to understand the implications for the USA and world economy of his isolationist policies".