Trump to impose steel, aluminium tariffs on EU

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After months in which it appeared the Trump administration had been backing away from tariffs amid infighting between the president's top economic advisers, Washington has over the past week ramped up its threats on trade.

Blaming large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada in March, US President Donald Trump said that he'd be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum unless a "fair" NAFTA deal is signed.

The Mexican measures, which target pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses as well as steel, could hit farm states that are a bastion of support for U.S. President Donald Trump, ahead of American midterm elections in November.

South Korea negotiated a steel quota, while Argentina, Australia and Brazil have arranged for "limitations on the volume they can ship to the U.S. in lieu of tariffs", Ross said.

Despite weeks of talks with his EU counterparts, Ross said the U.S. was not willing to meet the European demand that the EU be "exempted permanently and unconditionally from these tariffs". "This is protectionism, pure and simple", Juncker said.

Mexico buys more steel and aluminum from the United States than it sells.

"The steel and aluminum tariffs will have a poisonous effect on the NAFTA negotiations", Alden said.

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.

Last week, Trump said that Canada is "very spoiled" and "very hard to deal with" in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

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The three allies were previously given temporary exemptions from the duties - 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. But he said those talks were taking longer that "we had hoped".

European Union countries have given broad support to the Commission's plan to set duties on 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of US exports, including whiskey and motorbikes, if Washington ends the European Union tariff exemption. This decision was made citing national security, under section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Thursday.

Canada, Mexico and Europe were exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions will expire on Friday.

The White House is expected to confirm today that it will impose the tariffs after failing to win concessions from...

"This is dumb. Europe, Canada, and Mexico are not China, and you don't treat allies the same way you treat opponents", said Sen.

"We want to be exempt from these tariffs" which were "not compatible" with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Merkel told a press conference with Portuguese premier Antonio Costa in Lisbon. Even though the exemptions have covered more than half of steel imports, steel prices have moved higher this year.

"We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions", Ross said.

'But they can also increase costs more broadly for USA manufacturers who cannot source all their needs locally and have to import the materials.

"There is potential flexibility going forward", Ross said.