G7 finance ministers warn U.S. 'co-operation at risk' over metal tariffs

There goes the neighborhood Canada & Mexico vow to strike back at US in trade war

Andy Clark Reuters

"The United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on Trade".

The meeting of top economic policymakers was seen as a prelude to the trade disputes that will dominate the two-day G7 summit that begins on Friday in Quebec.

"I want to be clear, this isn't just about buying more (U.S.) goods, this is about structural changes".

But President Trump insisted on Twitter that the USA had been "ripped off by other countries for years on trade". Well, they have a $2 billion surplus on steel with us.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed President Donald Trump for his announcement that he planned to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum effective June 1.

The Trump administration is pursuing structural changes in China's economy as part of trade talks under way in Beijing, in addition to increased Chinese purchases of American goods, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday.

The comment was sure to further complicate talks that have been under way for months to renegotiate the landmark free trade deal that eliminated most tariffs and duties between the three countries.

"We have been attacked by those tariffs".

According to European Union officials, the American exports targeted in the initial wave of European Union retaliatory tariffs are worth roughly 2.8 billion euros (USD 3.3 billion) annually, as per the report.

In the run-up to next week's G7 summit, finance ministers and central bank governors from six of the G7 countries have slammed the U.S. decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Deutsche Welle reported.

Kudlow said the steel and aluminium tariffs on USA allies "may go on for a while" or "they may not", because the matter is subject to negotiation.

Calling the tariffs "illegal", the European Commission quickly vowed to fight back with its own package, expected to hit about $7.5 billion worth of U.S. exports, according to CNN, and will lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

The Canadian tariffs, which Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said are proportional to the United States duties, will be applied to USA steel and aluminium as well as consumer products from July 1.

"These unilateral tariffs, imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security, are inconsistent with the United States' worldwide trade obligations and WTO rules", Freeland said in a statement issued yesterday.

Morneau has called the steel and aluminum tariffs "absurd", because Canada is by no means a security risk to the U.S. He's warned the measures will destroy jobs on both sides of the border. "Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to U.S. industry including in defence projects which bolster USA national security". He said: "We will still be making that case throughout this week". The said trade-move would raise prices of a range of everyday products.

Mnuchin told reporters at a separate press conference that he has already briefed the president on trade concerns aired during his bilateral meetings with counterparts from Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.

Canada and Mexico, which are embroiled in talks with the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, responded to the move by announcing levies of their own on a variety of USA exports.

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