Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump hits Europe, Mexico and Canada with metals tariffs

Study says auto tariffs will cost 157K jobs MORE said Thursday that despite those discussions the United States would slap the tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada, which combined account for about 50 percent of all steel and aluminum imported into the U.S.

However, reports have suggested that last-minute talks in Paris had failed, with Wilbur Ross, the US Commerce Secretary, indicating that he was poised to impose the tariffs. The president first unveiled these trade measures in early March, but had initially provided exemptions to the European Union and America's northern and southern neighbors.

More details to follow ... However, the Nasdaq showed a 0.09 per cent gain.

"My position remains unchanged: Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers", Hatch said in a statement.

However, shares of US seel and aluminium producers rose, with US Steel Corp and AK Steel up around 3.5 per cent, Nucor up around 1 per cent, and Century Aluminum rising 3.1 per cent.

Ross and Lighthizer seemed like the odd men out at this week's gathering at the OECD, an worldwide economic agency that includes the a prominent member.

The tariffs directed at some of the U.S.'s most ardent allies represented the latest move in Trump's "America First" agenda that has roiled financial markets and raised the specter of a trade war involving the U.S., China and some of the globe's most dominant economies. Aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) reversed to trade 0.5% lower. Ross said that he intends to continue talks with European diplomats and officials from Canada and Mexico, but those are likely to be contentious.

The harsh duties imposed in March to combat global overcapacity of the metals and boost domestic production, were only among a flurry of different developments, coinciding with a political crisis in Italy, which this week has roiled markets. Through the first three quarters of 2017, the USA ran a relatively minor trade deficit with Canada of about a half-million metric tons, according to Department of Commerce data.

Trump imposed the tariffs in March to address global oversupply of the metals, but though it was largely aimed at China it hit United States allies as well.

The U.S. plan has raised the threat of retaliation from Europe and fears of a global trade war - a prospect that is already weighing on investor confidence and could hinder the global economic upturn. Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the United States for many years.

The Trump administration imposed the duties on imports from most other USA trading partners earlier this year to stem a flood of cheap steel and aluminum into the country. That came as a surprise after China-U.S. trade talks appeared close to a deal for China to significantly increase purchases of U.S. energy and agricultural goods.

European trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said she doubted that Europe could avoid some kind of restriction, whether they be tariffs or export limits. "They're critical for national security".

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