Trump tariffs are about national security: Peter Navarro

Trump tariffs are about national security: Peter Navarro”

She said if there were no exemptions, "We will respond in an intelligent, decisive and joint way".

President Donald Trump had announced the tariffs in March, saying they were necessary to protect the United States from unfair competition and thereby bolster national security.

The decision, which comes just days after Trump broke a cease-fire in an escalating trade dispute with China, is certain to inflame relations and invite retaliation.

Before the tariffs were announced, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Canadian government would take steps to protect jobs and industry, calling the United States justification "frankly absurd". Talks with the European Union made some progress, but not enough to warrant a permanent exemption or another temporary exemption, he said.

Canada's proposed tariffs cover whiskey, orange juice and other four products, as well as steel and aluminium in various forms.

And the administration's actions "underscore its commitment to good-faith negotiations with our allies to enhance our national security while supporting American workers".

According to the Associated Press, French President Emmanuel Macron alluded to Trump's leadership style directly in slamming the pending tariffs in a Wednesday speech.

"This is protectionism, pure and simple", European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement on the usa measures.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union would give a "smart, determined and jointly agreed" response to new USA tariffs that she said would break World Trade Organization rules.

"We share the same values, we have much more in common than issues that divide us", he said, adding: "This is quite emotional, but it is my personal conviction that we have a lot to lose, and this does not refer to steel and aluminium in the first place", he said.

The countermeasures will hit US hot and cold rolled steel, plated steel and tubes, the ministry said.

The tariffs represented the latest tactic in Mr Trump's "America First" agenda, which has unnerved traders and investors and raised the spectre of a trade war involving the United States and China - the world's two largest economies - as well as other key nations. The EU, Canada, Mexico and a number of other countries, however were temporarily exempted from the harsh tariffs for a month.

Mr Ross said talks with Canada and Mexico over revising NAFTA were "taking longer than we had hoped".

Canada, which is the largest supplier of steel to the USA has already unveiled retaliatory tariffs, which cover C$16.6 billion in imports from the USA, including whiskey, orange juice and other products.

Mexico said it would apply penalties to blueberries, pork bellies, grapes and certain types of steel.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Maelstrom said: "The US has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the EU".

The administration had said the China tariffs were on hold, but then reversed course this week and announced it was planning to go ahead with them after all.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse was more blunt: "This is dumb".

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