Canada's Trudeau blasts "totally unacceptable" Trump tariffs, announces counter-tariffs

Canada's Trudeau blasts

Canada's Trudeau blasts "totally unacceptable" Trump tariffs, announces counter-tariffs

The tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the European Union expire on Friday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the responsive measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum from the US's northern neighbor.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, and go into effect on Friday, as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations.

Needless to say, the United States now needs to be prepared for a chain of tit-for-tat tariffs on a range of products.

Industry representatives were reluctant to comment publicly, with several saying it was too early to know for certain how they would be affected by the US tariffs - as well as the retaliatory measures introduced later in the day by the Trudeau government.

Canada argued that the retaliatory tariffs on United States goods were legal under World Trade Organization rules since they were equivalent to what they viewed as an improper USA action.

Mexico complained that the tariffs will "distort global trade" and threatened to penalise USA imports including pork, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

Trump had campaigned for president on a promise to crack down on trading partners that he said exploited poorly negotiated trade agreements to run up big trade surpluses with the U.S.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe".

Ms Malmstrom accused Mr Trump of "playing a unsafe game" as she confirmed the European Union would be taking "proportionate and measured" action against the US.

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If Canada and Mexico choose to take retaliatory measures, it will not affect the ability to keep renegotiating NAFTA as a separate track, he added.

"I am deeply disappointed at the unjustified decision by the United States to apply tariffs to European Union steel and aluminium imports", May said, TASS reports.

Canada has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on the United States on items including agricultural products, which could hit rural areas of the U.S., where Trump has many supporters.

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".

He said the focus now is to use the threat of retaliatory measures to pressure the USA into reconsidering its own tariffs before any negative economic impact actually materialises.

A list of countermeasures would include tariffs on USA metals and food products such as yogurt, pizza and cucumbers, as well as household products like mattresses and refrigerators.

Mr Trudeau said: "Canada is a secure supplier of aluminium and steel to the United States defence industry, putting aluminium in American planes and steel in American tanks".

"We estimate there are about 40,000 jobs in South Wales alone that rely on the steel supply chain".

In a statement to The Associated Press, the company said it views the tariffs with "regret and concern".

Trump has long railed against NAFTA, condemning it as a job-killing "disaster" that has decimated USA manufacturing.

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