Trump to remove tariff exemption from EU, Canada, Mexico

Trump to remove tariff exemption from EU, Canada, Mexico

Canada, Mexico and Europe were exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions will expire on Friday.

Meanwhile, the commerce secretary said he plans to go to China for trade talks on Friday, another country with which the USA has developed an extremely tense relationship over trade differences under the Trump administration.

But talks with the European Union have gone nowhere, and the exemption runs out on Friday, June 1st.

More details to follow ...

"We will have to see what's their reaction", he said.

"We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand as there are other issues we need to get resolved", Ross told reporters on a conference call.

European officials had braced for the tariffs and the EU has threatened to retaliate against US orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return. The administration's plans could change if the two sides are able to reach a last-minute agreement, said the people, who spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The UK government's spokesperson stated that Britain and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and thus should be "permanently and fully exempted" from the USA metal tariffs.

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"The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium", the United Kingdom said in a statement.

When China targeted key US imports in retaliation against USA tariffs on $50 billion (37.5 billion pounds) of Chinese goods in April, Trump ordered USA officials to identify a further $100 billion of Chinese products the United States could hit.

Ross repeated remarks he made on Wednesday in Paris during an OECD meeting that just because the United States have levied the tariffs doesn't mean that negotiations with the countries are halted even if they retaliate.

The U.S. plan has raised the threat of retaliation from Europe and fears of a global trade war - a prospect that is already weighing on investor confidence and could hinder the global economic upturn.

Europe did not want a trade war, he said, but Washington had to back down from "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe tariffs".

"It's only the European Union insisting we can't negotiate if there are tariffs". We are ready to rebuild this multilateralism with our American friends'.

"We are prepared to react in a united and clear way whatever the decision of the (U.S.) president", he said.

Besides the US steel and aluminum tariffs, the Trump administration is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.

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