Canada threatens retaliation on Trump tariffs

Greg Nash
Two major U.S. allies said Thursday they are concerned about President Trump’s promise to levy steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, with one vowing retaliation if the administration goes through with the plan. 
Canada and the United Kingdom both issued statements in response to President Trump’s decision to announce next week that he will slap 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports.  
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland vowed to take “responsive measures” if the Trump administration imposes stiff tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products.
{mosads}“It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States,” Freeland said in a statement.
“Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”
The United States, Canada and Mexico are in Mexico City this week for the seventh round of the North American Free Trade Agreement talks. 
Negotiators were distracted from their talks about updating the 24-year-old pact and were forced to shift their attention to the tariff news out of Washington, according to news reports. 
Canada has said they were hoping to hear from the White House that Canada, which is the largest importer of steel into the United States, would get an exemption from the tariffs. 
The United Steelworkers, which backs Trump’s actions, has urged the administration to leave out Canada, arguing that they aren’t part of the problem. 
In recent months, tensions have ramped up in the trade relationship between Washington and Ottawa. 
Earlier this week, Trump argued that the United States is losing in its trade relationship with Canada, saying “Canada is very smooth” in its trading relationship, “so we have to start showing that we know what we’re doing.”
The U.K., a country which Trump has said he would like to negotiate a trade deal with, also expressed concerns about the policy. 
“We are engaging with the U.S. on what this announcement means in practice,” a U.K. spokesperson said. 
“We have been clear that we are particularly concerned by any measures that would impact the U.K. steel and aluminum industries.” 
“Overcapacity remains a significant global issue and we believe multilateral action is the only way to resolve it in all parties’ interests.”
Trump announced the proposal for tariffs, which he plans to officially impose next week, after a meeting with steel and aluminum executives, who have pressed the administration for action to help domestic producers. 
Last week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross released the recommendations of the steel and aluminum reports that gave Trump several choices on tariffs and quotas. 
Updated: 5:33 p.m.
Tags aluminum tariffs Canada–United States trade relations Commerce Department Donald Trump North American Free Trade Agreement Steel tariffs Wilbur Ross

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