Trudeau describes cancelling U.S. visit over demands for NAFTA sunset clause

Trudeau describes cancelling U.S. visit over demands for NAFTA sunset clause

The United States on Friday imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, a move that the Trump administration has justified on national security grounds.

Countries around the world are already fighting back, announcing retaliatory countermeasures and warning that the US plan will hurt USA consumers.

Canadians, industry and even opposition parties applauded the prime minister's unusually pointed rebuke of Trump and retaliatory tariffs.

He was speaking a day after International Trade Secretary Liam Fox refused to rule out a trade war after the USA imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imported from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

"The playing a risky game", Malmström told reporters". She said that China is to be blamed for the problems identified by the USA, and not the EU.

All six of the other G7 countries are paying the tariffs, which are largely aimed at curbing excess production in China.

She said that the tariffs have got nothing to do with national security. The US President has threatened to respond to any new EU trade barriers with a tax on cars produced by European automakers. David O'Sullivan, the EU's ambassador in Washington, said the retaliation will probably be announced in late June.

Canada's softwood lumber sector has been dealing with the latest USA tariffs to hit the industry for almost a year, handing over more than $200 million in 2017 to cover duties of about 20 per cent of the value of all exports.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

Despite Trudeau's claim that Canada had reached an impasse with the NAFTA talks, the official said the US would continue to pursue negotiations, acknowledging that a "range of issues remain".

These include products the European Union may subject to tariffs from rice to orange juice, cosmetics, motorcycles, motor boats to stainless steel sinks.

The steel and aluminum tariffs could also complicate the administration's efforts to renegotiate NAFTA, a pact that Trump has condemned as a job-killing "disaster".

"I had to highlight there was no possibility of any Canadian prime minister signing a NAFTA deal that included a five-year sunset clause and obviously the visit didn't happen", Trudeau said.

Trump tells reporters of America's neighbors: "these are two very different countries".

Likewise, the Trump trade team sought to use the tariff threat to pressure Europe into reducing barriers to US products.

Malmstrom said Friday in reaction to the sanctions that "the situation is worrying, it could escalate".

With the NAFTA talks seeming close to a possible breakthrough, Trudeau says he suggested to the USA president last Friday that they sit down with Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto and talk about reaching a deal.

The import duties will give a boost to American makers of steel and aluminum by making foreign metals more expensive.

In the joint "chair's summary", they asked their counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to "communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment" to his boss.