Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

US singled out by G7 allies over steel and aluminium tariffs

THE CANADIAN PRESS  Jeff Mc Intosh                       Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks to the media in Calgary Alta THE CANADIAN PRESS Jeff Mc Intosh Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks to the media in Calgary Alta
Glenn Montgomery | 07 June, 2018, 15:01

Canadian businesses are digesting the industry ramifications of the cross-border tariff war that erupted on Thursday, with Trump announcing the US will slap tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau firing back with $16.6-billion worth of "dollar-for-dollar" countermeasures on goods ranging from playing cards to maple syrup to yogurt.

The White House has said the tariffs imposed last week - 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum - were created to address the role steel imports have played in undermining the viability of the US steel industry, without which the country would have difficulty mobilizing for its defense.

Finance leaders of the closest United States allies have vented their anger over the Trump administration's metal import tariffs but ended a three-day meeting in Canada with no solutions, setting the stage for a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec.

Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: "The United States will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all".

Canada retaliated against the latest punitive measures last week by proposing levies on $16.6 billion worth of US exports to come into effect on July 1.

In the past, Trump had extended tariff exemptions for Canada and others beyond existing deadlines. Trump tweeted. "They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!"

Analysts said that may prove a tall order given the status of U.S. The tariff rates are published by the U.S. International Trade Commission in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, which lists U.S. tariffs on everything from dried plantains (1.4 per cent) to parachutes (3 per cent). He said he wanted to ensure that the Canadian and USA aluminium sectors work together to become an efficient North American unit that can "successfully compete with China and anyone else in the rest of the world". It's not always easy to match a specific product to a specific tariff or to keep up with which products from which countries are facing, say, special anti-dumping duties.

Trudeau said he'd refused to go because of the "totally unacceptable" precondition. "It's been a lousy deal for the United States from Day One", Trump said Friday, dismissing objections from some of the country's closest allies.

Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who hails from dairy-producing Wisconsin, are up in arms about Canada's system. Ryan has said Nafta's biggest problem "comes from the north". "We will continue to defend supply management", she said, declining to elaborate.

Counting trade in both goods and services, the USA trade deficit was $566 billion in 2017, a 12 percent increase marking its highest level since the 2008 Great Recession.

For example, Massow said, Canada imports just $3 million worth of yogurt from the US annually - most of which is from Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The European Union is also planning a tariff counter strike and filed a request on Friday for consultations with the World Trade Organisation.

The U.S. Treasury chief said he has already relayed some of the G7 comments to Trump and added that the U.S. president would address trade issues with other G7 leaders, but declined to speculate on any outcomes.

"The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade".

That condition "makes no sense", the Canadian leader said Sunday.

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