Ag Today May 31, 2018

U.S. Tariffs Prompt Anger, Retaliation From Trade Allies

By William Mauldin,The Wall Street Journal
Updated May 31, 2018 3:50 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union starting on Friday, the Trump administration said, raising the specter of trade war with some of Washington’s closest allies, who said they would retaliate.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said Ottawa will impose billions of dollars of tariffs on steel, aluminum and a wide range of other U.S. goods, including some food and agricultural products. Canada said it would hold consultations for two weeks before imposing the tariffs on July 1, which would remain until the U.S. levies are removed.

Mr. Trudeau said the fallout from its moves would be “more significant” than it realizes.

The EU said it is also planning to hit back with billions of dollars of levies on U.S. exports which could go into effect staring June 20 and launch a case against American measures at the World Trade Organization on Friday.

“This is protectionism, pure and simple,” the EU’s top executive, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said Thursday. “We will defend the Union’s interests, in full compliance with international trade law.”

Mexico’s Economy Ministry said it would target several U.S. goods in response, including some steel and pipe products, lamps, berries, grapes, apples, cold cuts, pork chops and various cheese products “up to an amount comparable to the level of damage” linked to the U.S. tariffs.

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