European Union moves ahead with counterstrike to American tariffs

Cecilia Malmström Commissioner for Trade during the press conference about EU measures to counter balance US tariffs

Cecilia Malmström Commissioner for Trade during the press conference about EU measures to counter balance US tariffs

"But, it would be a great pity if we ended up in a tit-for-tat trade dispute with our closest allies". What's stoking fears of a full-blown trade war this time are Trump's singling out of China for retaliation for intellectual property theft, the tit-for-tat actions by the USA and its closest allies over metal tariffs, and Trump's invocation of national security to justify some of his moves - which could open a Pandora's Box of similar claims by other nations.

Ross told reporters that talks with Canada and Mexico over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement were "taking longer than we had hoped". He estimated that the economic impact of the tariffs would amount to "a very small part of trade flows as a whole". "Congress can not sit idly by as Donald Trump continues to isolate the United States and cede leadership to Russian Federation and China on the global stage".

But the EU's Malmstrom said there would be no such wider trade talks as long as the U.S. measures were in place.

The lesson to be learned by Canadian industry is that the disputes aren't about fact, subsidy or national security, said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council.

At the same time, Ottawa will challenge the "illegal and counterproductive" United States measures under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and at the World Trade Organization, said Freeland.

"We are not in a trade war, but we are in a very hard situation caused by the United States".

"We are alienating all of our friends and partners at a time when we could really use their support", said Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade negotiator who is now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute. Many prominent Republicans have criticized the administration's aggressive use of that justification, saying its trade actions will hurt the US economy.

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A list of countermeasures would include tariffs on USA metals and food products such as yogurt, pizza and cucumbers, as well as household products like mattresses and refrigerators.

Germany's Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, warned that the decision could start a trade war that no side would win.

"China is a responsible nation in worldwide interactions, we always honour our words but we expect our partners to also keep their words", he said.

"Protectionism, pure and simple".

"These tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States", said Trudeau, as Ottawa hit back with retaliatory duties on U.S. imports worth up to Can$16.6 billion (US$12.8 billion).

The two sources said an announcement was planned for Thursday morning in Washington but that the timing could still change.

Public companies may feel pressure from shareholders who would expect them to fight the USA government in court and get an injunction, he said in an interview.

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Le Maire said it is up to the take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation during the leaders' summit next week.

Bruno Le Maire, France's minister of the economy and finance, said the USA tariffs are "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe".

Janzen said the steel and aluminum tariffs are a unique result of Trump policies whereas softwood lumber has been an irritant for decades.

In a March 2 Twitter post, he declared trade wars "good, and easy to win", though later he denied the USA and China are in one.

"Trade was discussed in the G7 in the context of risks to global economic growth and it was highlighted by quite a number of participants", Dombrovskis said.

Brussels and Ottawa on Friday filed legal challenges at the World Trade Organization against Washington's decision. "One can think about making voters happy by saying, 'I have a victory, I'll change the rules, you'll see'".

"Our steel and aluminium industries are hugely important to the United Kingdom, but they also contribute to USA industry including in defence projects which bolster U.S. national security." she said. Ross will also meet the German and French economy ministers.

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