Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trudeau describes cancelling United States visit over demands for NAFTA sunset clause

Trudeau describes cancelling United States visit over demands for NAFTA sunset clause

Trump this week enacted his administration's most severe economic penalties against USA allies to date, establishing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The dispute over U.S. President Donald Trump's new levies on steel and aluminum imports is driving a wedge in the G7 group of industrial nations.

Last week, the United States confirmed it would be imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico and a 10% tariff on aluminium.

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin arrives at a news conference after the G7 Finance Ministers Summit in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, June 2, 2018.

That meeting, which will be hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be Trump's first visit to Canada as president.

European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom announced the bloc would take the United States to the World Trade Organisation to challenge the legality of the new tariffs, saying negotiations with Washington were not now possible.

The imposition of tariffs raised the spectre of an worldwide trade war and Canada and the European Union immediately threatened retaliatory tariffs on a range of goods.

Janzen says the steel and aluminum tariffs are a unique result of Trump policies whereas softwood lumber has been an irritant for several administrations of both political parties. "This doesn't happen that often at G-7 meetings, but it was USA against everyone else", Mr Aso told reporters.

Mr. Mnuchin said the US continues to believe in the importance of the G7 and noted that all seven nations were on the same page on most other issues on the agenda in Whistler.

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Trump tweeted: "Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time".

Echoing Canadian President Justin Trudeau, Malmström said that the tariffs would hurt jobs in the U.S.as well.

Trade war fears between the United States and its trading partners have been rife since March.

Likewise, the Trump trade team sought to use the tariff threat to pressure Europe into reducing barriers to USA products. Tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium were imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico from midnight in Washington on Friday. Mexico announced retaliatory tariffs on US products and Canada said it would act as well. "Ultimately, we will shift some production, there's no question and I think long term, it would be a disaster for Canada and the U.S".

The European Union is challenging the new tariffs with the World Trade Organization...

"The U.S.is playing a unsafe game", Malmström told reporters".

The EU threatened to make good on a threat it issued in March to impose tariffs on imports from the USA that is 10 pages long, including everything from corn and tobacco, to T-shirts, Levi's jeans, bourbon, motor boats and various forms of steel.

On the other side of the argument, as A.P. points out, American ally Japan has already been paying the tariffs.

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