Paul Ryan and Other Republicans Try to Talk Trump Out of Tariffs

VSA said it would take up the United States’ restriction on steel imports at the World Trade Organisation if needed

VSA said it would take up the United States’ restriction on steel imports at the World Trade Organisation if needed

"The import restrictions announced by the United States president are likely to cause damage not only outside the USA, but also to the U.S. economy itself, including to its manufacturing and construction sectors, which are major users of aluminium and steel", International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice said, a day after Trump made an announcement in this regard.

"We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer", he said.

"We are very close to a fast-spreading trade war, and in this kind of war there are only victims, not winners", Katainen said.

Overnight Mr Trump had increased pressure on Canada and Mexico over trade, saying in a series of tweets that the two could avoid being caught in his planned hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports if they ceded ground to Washington in talks on a new North American Free Trade Agreemen (Nafta) trade deal.

The two USA trading partners have threatened retaliation unless they are exempted from the planned tariffs, which have rattled financial markets.

The combative posts follow Thursday's assertion on Twitter that U.S. steel and aluminium industries had been "decimated" by trade policies. Mr. Brady said Sunday that "all fairly-traded steel and aluminum" - including from Canada and Mexico - should be exempted from tariffs.

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As CNBC observes, Canada would be hit particularly hard by the tariffs. Further, these allies are up against a global production market led by China, which now produces around half of the world's steel.

"Unfortunately, many of our competitors around the world have slanted the playing field, and their thumb has been on the scale, and I think President Trump is trying to even that scale back out", said Republican candidate Rick Saccone.

Howe's union, the United Steelworkers, is already lobbying the USA government for changes, he says, and hopes American ownership in the Canadian steel industry will put Canada at an advantage.

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

"It's clear the United States is using tariffs as a trade weapon", said Unifor's Renaud Gagne.

"I think what the president had in mind was that unlike the Smoot-Hawley days in the 1930s, back then U.S. had a big trade surplus and the world was in a depression".

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It now looks impossible for negotiators to meet their goal of getting an agreement by the end of this month, especially amid the prospect of escalating trade tensions from the steel dispute. Conversely, it is unlikely to create significant new employment in these two sectors given that current USA steel and aluminium production remain close to a 10-year average.

Refusing to spare friendly countries from the punishing tariffs could further inflame tensions created by Trump's sudden announcement on Thursday to protect American metal producers on national security grounds.

"That makes China the more vulnerable partner in this", said Kuijs.

"There is always retaliation, and typically a lot of these countries single out agriculture when they do that".

He said: "The United States must know that if these unilateral decisions were to be maintained and confirmed, they would lead to a strong, coordinated and united answer from the European Union".

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