Republicans in key midterm races caution against Trump's new tariffs

Trump to hit EU, Canada and Mexico with steel and aluminium tariffs

The White House has said the tariffs - 25 percent duties on steel and 10 percent on aluminum shipments from Canada, EU member states and Mexico - are necessary to safeguard US national security.

- The Trump administration has decided that trade negotiations have proven fruitless and will go ahead with imposing tariffs on imported aluminum and steel from Canada, Mexico, and the EU.

The U.S.is hitting Canada with tariffs on its steel and aluminum imports effective at midnight tonight and the CEO of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce says "immediately, this is going to unleash chaos".

"We are on the losing side of nearly all trade deals".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "This is protectionism, pure and simple".

Mexico said it would penalize USA imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

The director of UK Steel, Gareth Stace, said he feared there was clear potential for a damaging trade war. Mr Trump seems convinced that the EU's 10% tariff on vehicle imports violates the spirit of reciprocity, and that Japan treats American auto companies unfairly in other ways, such as subjecting them to onerous inspections (there is no tariff on cars entering Japan).

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The UK said it was "deeply disappointed" by the U.S. decision, which followed weeks of negotiations.

Malmström added the EU's response will be "proportionate and in accordance with WTO rules", and the "US measures clearly go against agreed worldwide rules". On May 29th, days after tariffs on imports from China were supposedly put on hold, official word came that tariffs on $50bn of Chinese imports would be imposed "shortly" after June 15th.

Weber adds that Trump's decision has to be a wake-up call for us Europeans: "with the U.S. closing in on itself, we should be bridge-builders & reliable partners for the rest of the world".

Barring a last-minute change of heart-which would not be the first-as The Economist went to press the administration was expected to announce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union from June 1st.

The highly anticipated move was announced Thursday by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is wrapping up a two-day meeting with European Union officials.

The U.S. administration also launched a national security investigation last week into auto and truck imports, using the same 1962 law it has applied to curb incoming steel and aluminum.

The EU said on Thursday it will impose retaliatory duties, a measure the bloc earlier indicated would target $3.3 billion in American products from Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles to Levi Strauss & Co.'s jeans as well as bourbon whiskey.

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Tumazos credits the buoyant environment and rising prices to the steel tariffs, as well as the Trump administration's move to cut corporate taxes to 21 per cent from 35 per cent.

A coil of imported steel is loaded onto a railroad vehicle in Camden, New Jersey.

The EU said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, while Mexico vowed to impose duties on everything from US flat steel to cheese.

European officials, bracing for the tariffs, have threatened to retaliate against USA orange juice, peanut butter, kitchenware, clothing and footwear, washing machines, textiles, whiskey, motorcycles, boats and batteries.

"Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in world trade". "We did everything to avoid this outcome".

The NAFTA talks were one factor in the administration's decision to grant exemptions to Canada and Mexico from the steel and aluminum tariffs.

Mexico announced what it described as "equivalent" measures on a wide range of USA farm and industrial products.

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