US Imposes Tariffs On Steel, Aluminium Imports From EU, Canada And Mexico

| June 1 , 2018 , 15:07 IST

After fending off a potentially disastrous trade war with China, US President Donald Trump administration has now imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, effective Friday.

Previously, US’s close allies of the EU, Canada and Mexico had been temporarily exempted from the steel and aluminium tariffs, but the United States Department of Commerce on Thursday announced that the temporary exemption would be allowed to expire.

Although the US, especially under the presidency of Donald Trump, has been taking strong measures, the imposing of tariffs against its allies is likely to exacerbate trade tensions and trigger retaliatory measures.

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US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressing media said that the US has decided to no longer exempt the EU, Canada and Mexico from the 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports that are imposed on nations including China, Japan and Russia.

Regarding the trade arrangements with the EU, Ross said that not enough progress had been made to maintain the temporary exemptions or more towards definitive exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs.

The European Union vowed to respond to the ‘unwarranted’ move by the US.

"The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organization rules," Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said in a statement.

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"It's a bad day for world trade. US leaves us no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and the imposition of additional duties on a number of US imports," he added.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in a statement said that Canada would retaliate to the new US tariffs by imposing its own trade barriers on US products. Freeland said Canada plans to slap dollar-for-dollar tariffs on the U.S.

Mexico also announced retaliatory measures, including tariffs on US products such as flat steel and pork bellies.

"In response to the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures on a range of products," the Economy Secretariat said in a bulletin.