Although the Trump administration has officially imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on EU and Canada from last Friday (June 1), these traditional close allies of the United States do not seem to give up hope. They hope that the capricious US president, Trump, will change his views on this issue in the coming days.
This week, Trump will be "positively confronting" leaders of Germany, France and Canada at the G7 summit in Quebec. The latter has threatened to take retaliatory measures in the hope of reversing Trump’s decision to impose tariffs.
The Trump administration announced earlier that it will impose tariffs of 25% and 10% on the steel and aluminum products of the European Union, Canada, and Mexico on June 1 because the negotiations with the above three parties have not made enough progress.
In 2017, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union exported a total of US$23 billion worth of steel and aluminum products to the United States, accounting for nearly half of the total US imports of steel and aluminum products during the year. The annual bilateral trade volume between the United States and the European Union exceeds 1 trillion US dollars.
The Trump administration’s tariff decision resulted in the unanimous condemnation of the finance ministers of the other six countries at the G7 finance minister and central bank governor’s meeting ended on Saturday. Foreign media pointed out that such a G7's accusation against a single member state is rare.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned during the G7 meeting that the trade war may erupt within a few days. “We still have days to avoid escalation. We still have a few days to take necessary measures. To prevent a trade war between the EU and the United States."
French President Mark Long also called Trump, saying that the tariff move was "illegal." The European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) saying that the U.S. measures violated the WTO rules and submitted a long list of 8 pages of goods listing U.S. products that were punished by the EU’s retaliatory measures, including Harley motorcycles and bourbon whisky etc. .
Canadian Prime Minister Trude also pointed out that this move by the United States is "completely unacceptable." The country plans to impose a retaliatory tariff of up to 25% on U.S. export products valued at 13 billion U.S. dollars starting from July 1. Products include both U.S. steel products and consumer products such as yogurt, whisky and coffee.
But the White House does not seem to be threatened. Senior economist Larry Kudlow told Fox News that Trudeau “overreacted” the tariff and stated that any responsibility for trade friction escalation lies with the U.S. trading partners. He said that Trump only responded to trade abuses for decades.
At the same time, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ross visited Beijing last weekend and met with Vice Premier Liu He of China’s State Council to try to ease trade tensions.
Earlier, the U.S. government threatened to impose additional tariffs on Chinese products worth US$50 billion. China warned that if the United States introduced trade sanctions, all previous negotiations will not take effect.
In the past, the United States has always been regarded as a leader in free trade, and has maintained open policies in many countries, including allies. However, the protectionist policy adopted after Trump took office changed this situation. However, Mr. Mutnchin denied that the United States has given up its leadership position in the global economy and said that it has conveyed the feelings of other countries to Trump.
However, the hope of the United States’ close ally to hope Trump to change his mind may be frustrated. On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter that the United States “has been exploited by other countries for many years in trade”.
He said that steel tariffs will protect U.S. steel manufacturers, and this is crucial to national security. Trump also condemned the case of U.S. companies encountering barriers in Europe and elsewhere. "It's time to be smart!"