After steel and aluminum Trump takes aim at Canada's agriculture sector

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement Friday that he told Trump in a phone call that the new US tariffs on European, Mexican and Canadian goods are illegal and a "mistake".

The White House has said the tariffs imposed last week - 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum - were created to address the role steel imports have played in undermining the viability of the USA steel industry, without which the country would have difficulty mobilizing for its defense.

Continuing his tirade against Trump, Trudeau rubbished the USA president's claim that it was imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium goods of Canada in order to "protect American national security interests".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of USA goods in response to Trump's metals tariffs.

Canada has responded by imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff "countermeasures" on up to $16.6 billion worth of USA imports. Some U.S. companies that buy steel are complaining that Trump's tariffs put them at a competitive disadvantage.

However, readily available Canadian substitutes for these US goods could get a boost as result, said Joanne McNeish, an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. Canada countered by imposing higher tariffs on steel and aluminium from the United States while Mexico planned to target US agricultural products. But we see no sign of that in this action today by the U.S. administration. But President Donald Trump has dusted them off in recent months and restored tariffs to a prominent place in his America First approach to the rest of the world.

He also confirmed that his country will impose duties on the United States.

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Trump demanded Canada open up its markets and take down trade barriers. China has threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in U.S. goods - as have Canadian, EU and Mexican authorities. He defended his administration in a series of tweets Monday, invoking an argument he has often used to explain his thoughts on the issue: that the United States is already losing a trade war.

Trudeau's carefully crafted G7 agenda is under considerable strain following President Donald Trump's decision last week to impose tariffs on Canada, Mexico and Europe.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the U.S. has only a few days to avoid sparking a trade war with its allies and it is up to the United States to make a move to de-escalate tensions over tariffs.

"Your comments, in addition to political meetings between your staff and President Trump's advisers, for which there has been little information provided to us, are quite worrisome". Before the establishment of the federal income tax in 1913, tariffs were a big money raiser for the USA government. Highly restrictive on Trade! Tariffs discourage imports by making them more expensive. Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union trade minister, said the tariffs amounted to "pure protectionism" and are "further weakening the transatlantic relations".

There could be opportunities for a bump in sales for Canadian substitutes for these US products, said Mike Von Massow, associate professor in the food, agricultural and resource economics department at the University of Guelph.

That condition "makes no sense", the Canadian leader said Sunday.

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