President Trump has been raising fears about a trade war with his promise to “even out” the trade deficit by imposing new tariffs on trade partners. After Canada and Mexico balked at the President’s strategy, Trump announced he would give the North American neighbors a grace period in order to iron out details. He also asked the two nations to make several concessions that would be in American interests.
On Thursday President Trump announced he would be moving forward with tariffs on both Canada and Mexico, as well as the European Union.
From ABC News:
The Trump administration announced Thursday it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies. Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate quickly, exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions. Financial markets fell amid fears of a trade war.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, and go into effect on Friday, as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations. President Donald Trump had announced the tariffs in March, citing national security concerns.
The European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Trump’s decision amounted to trade protectionism and that Europe would respond with countermeasures. “This is protectionism, pure and simple,” Juncker said. Mexico said it would penalize U.S. imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.
The markets experienced a slight drop in the wake of the news.
[Commerce secretary Wilbur]Ross told reporters that talks with Canada and Mexico over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement were “taking longer than we had hoped.” Talks with Europe had “made some progress” but not enough for additional exemptions, he said in a conference call from Paris.
“We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions,” Ross said. He said he planned to travel to China on Friday for trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies.
European officials had braced for the tariffs and the EU has threatened to retaliate against U.S. orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return. In terms of the NAFTA talks, the tariffs could hinder the negotiations among the North American neighbors.
On NAFTA, Ross said there was “no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded and therefore (Canada and Mexico) were added into the list of those who will bear tariffs.”