Legal challenge against US, China: ‘Door to trade negotiations with US closed’

04 June, 2018, 03:32 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Macron Trump to meet in Paris

UK's Prime Minister, Theresa May has slammed Donald Trump, for his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium producers, a decision that is pushing European Union to the brink of a trade war with the US.

"China is a responsible nation in global interactions, we always honour our words but we expect our partners to also keep their words", he said.

The tariffs, which have increased friction with United States trading partners worldwide and prompted several challenges before the World Trade Organization, are aimed at allowing the U.S. steel and aluminum industries to increase their capacity utilization rates above 80 per cent for the first time in years.

The EU threatened tariffs on Harley Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, measures aimed at the political bases of U.S. Republican legislators.

However, if the Trump administration proceeds with its proposal to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese tech products, the statement warned, "all the economic and trade benefits negotiated by both sides are not going to take effect".

Trump had offered the two US neighbors a permanent exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs if they agreed to USA demands on NAFTA. "So now this door for the moment is closed".

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France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called the USA tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and risky". In 2002, the Bush White House proposed similar tariffs but later withdrew them once the World Trade Organization deemed them illegal.

The Commission intends to file a dispute settlement request before the WTO against the United States tariffs and plans to activate its own tariffs against U.S. exports worth €6.4 billion, to equal the economic impact of Trump's duties.

A similar investigation launched a year ago resulted in a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, although in many cases those tariffs have been suspended while the US negotiates with exporting countries. "That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable".

Malmstrom said over-production from China, not Europe, was to blame for the glut of steel that prompted the U.S. action.

"We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand", US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. "The US economy will suffer as much as any other economy".

"But as the CBI have said, we do not want a trade war which does more to harm United Kingdom industries and consumers". "We are ready to rebuild this multilateralism with our American friends", he said.

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Even some Trump allies in Congress said the trade moves were misguided. Many prominent Republicans have criticized the administration's aggressive use of that justification, saying its trade actions will hurt the USA economy.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the US defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau said. "At the same time, most of his product is made out of aluminum, and there is great uncertainty as to what the tariffs do to actually the price of his core product". That hurts the companies and can lead to more expensive consumer prices, economists say.

"Obviously, the visit didn't happen", he said.

In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: "These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term".

Besides the USA steel and aluminum tariffs, the also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security. Dombrovskis reiterated the European Union position during the G7 meeting. Ross will also meet the German and French economy ministers.

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