G7 finance chiefs kick trade dispute to leaders' summit in Quebec

Marsha Scott
June 3, 2018

Macron's office said in a statement Friday that the two presidents spoke by phone after Trump's administration announced the decision Thursday to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter a day after imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum to call out Canada's softwood lumber industry, a sector that could provide insight for others on resilience in the face of U.S. tariffs.

May said in a statement that the United States, the European Union and Britain are close allies and have always promoted values of open and fair trade across the world.

"Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to USA industry including in defence projects which bolster U.S. national security".

The response followed Washington's decision on Thursday to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

The British leader, who has sought to underscore the trans-Atlantic special relationship, said Friday she was "deeply disappointed" by the Trump administration's decision.

The Wolfsburg-based company is calling for dialogue between the USA and the European Union within recognized World Trade Organization principles "in order to prevent any long-term economic damage".

Speaking after the meeting, Le Maire said the European Union was poised to take counter-measures against the new USA tariffs.

"The problem is that by taking that kind of unilateral action the USA is undermining the principle of multilateralism in worldwide trade, so it becomes more hard to deal with other concerns ― like trade and market access practices in China", Dombrovskis said in an interview.

"This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between longstanding partners, friends, and allies", she said.

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Trump's antagonistic trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - drew worldwide denunciation.

She dismissed the Trump administration's argument that the tariffs are needed for USA national security reasons. A previous steel dispute with the USA in 2002 took one and a half years with a final decision that fell in favour of the EU.

Mr Stace said it was too early to speculate on the likely impact on jobs, but said: "At worst, we could fall straight back into the crisis we suffered in 2015/16, which was the worst steel crisis in a generation".

"We are heading for a trade war, which is going to be all losers - there will be no winners".

Fears of a global trade war are overshadowing the G7 talks in the Canadian resort town of Whistler, as Washington's allies vow to push back against the United States decision on tariffs. "It's Donald Trump's failure to understand the implications for the U.S. and world economy of his isolationist policies".

Likewise, the Trump trade team sought to use the tariff threat to pressure Europe into reducing barriers to USA products.

He added: "We believe in a rules-based system, a multilateral system, President Trump doesn't and we must understand that".

"That is not the basis on which mature adults negotiate", Beatty said.

Trudeau has long said he wouldn't agree to a sunset clause because businesses need certainty when they make long-term investments and putting a sunset clause in every five years would create uncertainty.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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