Hatch: Trump's Tariffs Are A "Tax Hike On Americans"

Marcus Newton
May 31, 2018

Prior to Ross's announcement, a senior Canadian official, speaking on condition of anonymity citing the sensitivity of the situation, confirmed Canada has prepared a list of USA products that might face retaliatory tariffs, but declined to give further details.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced this morning that the US will move forward in implementing steel and aluminum tariffs against the E.U., Canada and Mexico unveiled this past March, rather than extending a previous deadline Friday that had exempted allies from the tariffs.

"If any of these parties does retaliate, that does not mean that there can not be continuing negotiations", Ross said.

Outside of just the beer industry, multiple studies estimated that the steel and aluminum tariffs would result in a net loss of USA jobs and hurt the domestic economy.

"Canada considers it frankly absurd that we would in any way be considered to be a national security threat to the United States", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said before the tariffs were announced.

"What we might see is damage not only to the United Kingdom economy but to the USA economy if we don't get a further extension. or indeed President Trump actually sees sense and understands that there will be no winners here".

An announcement is expected as early as Thursday (May 31).

Ross said talks with the European Union had failed to reach a satisfactory agreement to convince Washington to continue the exemption from the tariffs imposed in March.

After months of threats, the White House announced that it would not extend the EU's exemption from 25% duties on imports of European Union steel, and 10% on its aluminum.

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The EU says it's ready to retaliate with its own crackdown on USA imports like peanut butter and denim jeans.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the US tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky".

"We want to be exempt from these tariffs" which were "not compatible" with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Merkel told a press conference with Portuguese premier Antonio Costa in Lisbon.

"It is totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade".

In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: "These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term". We are ready to rebuild this multilateralism with our American friends'.

Tariffs on steel imports to the US can help local producers of the metal by making foreign products more expensive.

Europe did not want a trade war, he said, but Washington had to back down from "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky tariffs". That hurts the companies and can lead to more expensive consumer prices, economists say.

Ross is scheduled to go to China this weekend for a third round of negotiations.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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