US to impose steel, aluminum tariffs imports from Europe, Mexico, Canada

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The Trump administration announced Thursday it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations.

Ross told reporters that talks with Canada and Mexico over revising the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were “taking longer than we had hoped.” Talks with Europe had “made some progress” but not enough for additional exemptions, he said in a conference call from Paris.

“We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions,” Ross said. He said he planned to travel to China on Friday for trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies.

European officials had braced for the tariffs and the EU has threatened to retaliate against U.S. orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return. In terms of the NAFTA talks, the tariffs could hinder the negotiations among the North American neighbors.

The EU responded Thursday morning, saying the actions by the U.S. “leaves us no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and the imposition of additional duties on a number of US imports. We will defend the EU’s interests, in full compliance with international trade law.”

Fears of a global trade war are already weighing on investor confidence and could hinder the global economic upturn. European officials argue that tit-for-tat tariffs will hurt growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mexico said it would penalize U.S. imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.

This story has information by The Associated Press


Merrill Matthews talks US steel and aluminum tariffs

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Merrill Matthews for insight into the U.S. decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a select group of nations. Matthews is a Resident Scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation.