March 18, 2018

Trump denies backing off on decision to impose tariffs

13 March 2018, 09:51 | Dale Webster

Trump's move on steel and aluminium may spark global trade retaliation

Although his recently announced measures cover only steel and aluminium US President Donald Trump has be strongly

President Donald Trump on Monday further expanded his personal trade war, telling Canada and Mexico that he would only consider lifting possible tariffs on steel and aluminum if they concede to White House demands for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed.

The European Union intends to target 2.8 billion euros ($3.5 billion) of USA goods ranging from T-shirts and whiskey to motorcycles and ladders should President Donald Trump go ahead with his plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on foreign steel. "How much further proof do we need that the USA government is bargaining in bad faith?" Massive relocation of companies & jobs. A memo from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president "emphasized his commitment to a NAFTA agreement that was fair to all three countries, noting the current agreement leaves the United States with a trade deficit". Also, Canada must treat our farmers much better. "Millions of people addicted and dying", Trump wrote.

Trump downplayed those fears in a tweet Friday, saying "trade wars are good, and easy to win".

Trump's remarks have sparked-off a chorus of condemnation around the world from countries concerned about the economic impact of a trade war.

Trump is expected to finalize the tariffs later in the week, posing a tough challenge for US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

In a series of tweets, the president linked the tariffs to issues with Canada and Mexico.

"We're not backing down", Trump said, adding tariffs can be negotiated through changes in NAFTA.

"TRUMP: "I don't think you have a trade war".

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy.

"I'm not going to go into our private conversations", he said.

The analysts commented that the country might choose another tactic - to complain to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the case. "We are looking to make sure that USA companies can compete fairly around the world".

The current round of Nafta talks, which focus on updating the 24-year old treaty, are due to finish on Monday and have achieved little.

If the US can impose these tariffs on steel and aluminum on the basis of "national security", someone else is sure to try for tariffs on food, or clothing, or various other products on the same basis.

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