European Union still in the dark over Trump's tariffs after meeting U.S. representative

EU stance on Trump's tariffs 'risks breaching' WTO rules

The outcome "is a step forward", Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement Thursday.

Top among those enlisted: golfing legend Greg Norman, a friend of Mr Trump's.

"Just as these Chinese leaders have been exploiting American weakness by cheating in the trade arena, they will acknowledge the strength and resoluteness of Trump and rein in their mercantilist impulses", Navarro and commerce secretary Ross wrote in an economic paper for the Trump campaign.

Werner Antweiler, Professor of Economics at UBC's Sauder School of Business, says like the U.S., Canada is a member of various trade agreements, and he thinks Canada will stick to the procedures offered through them.

South Korea is the sixth biggest U.S. trading partner and a key military ally in Asia.

But they faced a delicate balancing act.

Who's in the queue for waiver?

Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, made the remark after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new tariffs of 25 percent be slapped on all steel imports with the temporary exception of those coming from Canada and Mexico.

Tokyo and Brussels rejected any suggestion that their exports to the United States threatened the country's national security, while China's metal industry issued the country's most explicit threat yet in the row, urging the government to retaliate by targeting U.S. coal.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday "we can also do stupid" if Trump imposes the steep levies.


Japan, another major USA ally in Asia, called Trump's decision to impose tariffs "regrettable".

But she warned that if the issue can't be resolved bilaterally or through the World Trade Organization, then "we will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures".

Questions over how to pressure Mr Trump were similarly perilous. Doing so would torpedo the system of rules that has underpinned global trade for decades.

Likewise, Trump's invitation to countries to plead their case for being exempted from the tariffs might prove a tough sell.

European Union countries were compiling a list of USA products that could be subject to reciprocal levies. The currency has been rising since it hit a seven-week low of $1.21545 hit when Trump unveiled his tariff plan last week.

By giving countries a potential sanctuary from tariffs, Trump might have temporarily lowered the temperature. However, critics have argued the tariffs may trigger a global trade war which could hurt American workers in other job sectors and force American consumers to pay higher prices for various goods.

The suggestion that Britain might go its own way provoked a rebuke from Mr Jyrki Katainen, EU vice-president for jobs and competitiveness. "So they charge us 50, we would charge them 50", Trump said in his remarks before signing the two proclamations. The EU, however, did not leave the meeting with the exemption from the new tariffs it is looking for. Canada is the top supplier of both to the US, with $15 billion a year in combined sales.

Steel's had a bad week. The country accounts for nearly 10 per cent of USA steel imports and stands to suffer the most.

A top Mexican strategist said such tariffs could target exports from states that voted for Trump in 2016, and which he would need to win to secure re-election in 2020.

"The cost of a trade war will be tremendous and it will make everyone unhappy", Junichi Makino, chief economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo, said in a report on Friday.

And while it might be possible to write off Trump as the whacky guy who will say nearly anything - to divert attention from some other scandal or to raise a cheer among hard-line supporters - the things he is saying fly in the face of decades of accepted Republican positions on trade.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced the new measures and said he feared "unintended consequences".



Other news