Trump to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Europe ready to retaliate

A steel worker watches hot metal at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg Germany in a file

A steel worker watches hot metal at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg Germany in a file

The second exemption was set to expire on Friday.

"The president's tariffs are working to stimulate investment and are essential to our national and economic security", a senior White House official said, noting a new aluminum rolling plant will be opening in the USA next month.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the U.S. will slap tariffs on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminium as of midnight tonight.

The tariffs, which have increased friction with USA trading partners worldwide and prompted several challenges before the World Trade Organization, are aimed at allowing the U.S. steel and aluminium industries to increase their capacity utilization rates above 80% for the first time in years. The EU would respond with "all necessary measures" if the United States imposed them.

"It's not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end", he said, declaring that the stiff taxes would be "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe".

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel has announced plans to restart one of two blast furnaces and rehire workers at its Granite City Works outside St. Louis, Ill. Yet Canada is also, far and away, the largest export market for USA steelmakers.

Besides the US steel and aluminum tariffs, the U.S.is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security. European Union exports potentially subject to USA duties are worth 6.4 billion euros.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who will be at the G7 table with the seven other country leaders, expressed strong opposition to Thursday's decision.

However, shares of US seel and aluminium producers rose, with US Steel Corp and AK Steel up around 3.5 per cent, Nucor up around 1 per cent, and Century Aluminum rising 3.1 per cent.

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Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the USA can help local producers of the metals by making foreign products more expensive.

In 2002, president George W. Bush imposed tariffs on steel imports for much the same reason as Trump-combating cheap imports from other countries-but ended them when the World Trade Organization ruled them illegal. "There is no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded" so they were added to the tariff list, he said.

President Giles Ashmead said: "While the U.S. is not a major export market for UK-produced aluminium, indiscriminate tariffs are a hindrance to free trade, and do little to secure a "level playing field" for global commerce".

"Without a strong economy you can't have strong national security", Ross said.

He said the tariffs will in the long run increase the cost of global beer production but have a disproportionate impact on American brewers and jobs.

While there are a few problems with GDPR, it is probably not going to stop investment and innovation - other than for those companies which depend on stealing information from the stupid on social notworking sites and flogging it to the highest bidder, or using it to game elections.

The decision, which comes just days after Trump broke a cease-fire in an escalating trade dispute with China, is certain to inflame relations and invite retaliation.

The steel and aluminum levies and auto-import probe could play well with Trump voters in Rust Belt states in the lead-up to congressional midterms in November.

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