Donald Trump tariffs on USA allies draw retaliation threats

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The US president's decision to delay imposing higher duties for the EU, Canada and Mexico until June 1 gave the bloc hope for a permanent EU exemption, as the bloc's leaders have repeatedly criticized the tariffs as an act of protectionism by the US administration.

Getting the president to walk back from the line he drew in the sand Thursday won't be easy, they acknowledge.

Retaliatory tariffs from USA trading partners, meanwhile, are devised to inflict maximum pain on Trump-supporting areas to encourage the President to back down.

"There is a lot of concern here about the impact it would have in Tennessee", said Bradley Jackson, president of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Germany's carmakers are especially braced for the latest threat from Trump, who earlier this month launched proceedings that could eventually smack tariffs on auto imports into the US. Among the American items to be targeted would be ships and other products made with steel, whiskey, peanut butter, Harley-Davidsons and Levi's jeans worth €2.8 billion ($3.27 billion).

President Donald Trump is launching a global trade war, and Trump country could take much of the heat.

The bloc also opened proceedings against China, the world's second biggest economy, in a case involving intellectual property, in an effort to not single out the USA, the European Union said.

"We can't live in a world where might makes right". But we need the help of our friends.

'We lose many, many, many billions of dollars with Canada, ' Trump said, apparently still referencing the trade deficit. "What Canada and Mexico are willing to bring to the table is something that could deliver success". "Any EU response that could lead to a further escalation and more trade barries would do even more damage - Brussels should stay calm", he said. The administration said foreign production of steel and aluminum has driven down prices and hurt USA producers, creating what the Commerce Department has called a national security threat.

Business leaders in Canada and the USA predicted dire economic consequences as result of the decision, which was derided on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Washington's move also left European leaders fuming.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and several leading Republicans in Congress were critical of the administration's tariff action. Ross is leaving Friday for Beijing for talks aimed at preventing a trade war with China. French President Emmanuel Macron called the tariffs illegal and a "mistake".

In a tweet, Trudeau also furthered that the United States tariffs are "illegal and counterproductive measures under NAFTA Chapter 20 and at the WTO" and that "it is simply ridiculous to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the USA".

Trump, unmoved by all of it, dug in his heels.

"Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time".

The managing director of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), Gerhard Handke, told Reuters that not all European Union member countries were affected by the higher tariffs to the same extent. All three jurisdictions are the largest trade partners of the US.

Trump accused Mexico - a location where USA and European automakers conduct manufacturing - as having "taken" US companies.

The sources interviewed Friday emphasized that anything could "turn on a dime" with Trump; hours later, they were proven correct. "Europe, Canada, and Mexico are not China, and you don't treat allies the same way you treat opponents".

"To be honest with you, I wouldn't mind seeing NAFTA where you'd go by a different name, where you'd make a separate deal with Canada and a separate deal with Mexico", Trump said.

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