Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trudeau says tariffs on steel and aluminum are 'insulting'

Trudeau says tariffs on steel and aluminum are 'insulting'

Not only did Trump step up trade penalties on China, announcing a few days ago that tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would go forward, but he moved to impose tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, the U.S.' closest allies and trade partners.

Sensing he was losing leverage, Trump ripped up that playbook and moved to impose the steel and aluminum tariffs immediately.

A fiery Trudeau lashed out against Trump's tariffs during an exclusive interview that aired Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press".

"We're aware that we have to work collectively and collaboratively with the United States and that, quite frankly, has been my point with the president since the very beginning", Trudeau said.

The nations responded with retaliatory measures of their own, with critics, like Trudeau, calling the new tariffs "totally unacceptable".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland warned in an interview on CNN that the United States tariffs would hurt American companies and consumers first and foremost.

When asked if these tariffs could jeopardize the economy, Kudlow said, "Oh, it might".

"One of the truths about tariffs is they drive up costs for consumers".

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Mexico, the third-largest USA trade partner, said it would penalize US imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

Just before the G7 summit ended, Trump tweeted that "the United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on trade".

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Larry Kudlow said that the Trump administration's confrontation with Canada is a "family quarrel" that can still be resolved through negotiations. The president said the tariffs being charged against other countries would help to fund the US government, and repeated his refrain that the USA could not lose a trade war in a worldwide climate where the rules were already stacked against American business.

"Here, the European Union is claiming that the Americans have implemented trade restrictions - in this case, the steel and aluminum tariffs - that violate the rules of the worldwide system", Chad Bown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for global Economics told All Things Considered.

'The U.S. has made such bad trade deals over so many years that we can only WIN!' Trump wrote Monday. Although Trump "would love to see free trade" once again become possible, these "barriers" must "be swept away" first, Kudlow warned. "And that's really the problem for the United States is that it's not clear that these steel or aluminium tariffs fall under any of these boxes".

"If the USA launches trade sanction measures, including the imposition of tariffs, then all the economic and trade benefits negotiated by both sides are not going to take effect". That's why I think that the president is right.

Mr. Trudeau also accused Mr. Trump of trying to deliberately drive investment away from Canada and Mexico by insisting on putting a sunset clause in NAFTA; under such a clause, the deal would be automatically terminated in five years unless all three countries agreed to extend it. Mr. Trudeau argued the Trump administration wanted to purposely create uncertainty for business.

Mnuchin said he had already passed on some of the G7 comments to Trump and said the president would address trade issues with other G7 leaders.

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