Hatch: Trump's Tariffs Are A "Tax Hike On Americans"

"Sorry, it's time for a change", said Trump.

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.

The EU - along with Canada and Mexico - are now receiving a temporary exemption which expires Friday.

Despite the tensions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Trump administration wants to continue negotiations.

They include a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium imports.

European officials said they expected the U.S.to announce its final decision Thursday.

Trudeau spoke with Trump by phone earlier this week. "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", the commerce secretary said.

Worries about a USA trade war with the European Union weighed on Wall Street stocks at the open, but shares of US steel and aluminum makers were up strongly.

The EU says it's ready to retaliate with its own crackdown on USA imports like peanut butter and denim jeans.

"This is a bad day for world trade", he said. "Nothing", French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.

"These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term", Macron said. "Trade wars don't have any winners". "There is money set aside whether it be for tariffs, or for interest rate fluctuations, so that we can proceed with our defence procurement should there be additional costs associated because of tariffs or other unexpected circumstances", she said. Although Germany is the eighth largest source of steel imports for the United States, the US market amounts to a low single-digit percentage of the overall German steel industry.

"These tariffs could lead to a protectionist domino effect, damaging firms, employees and consumers in the US, UK and many other trading partners".

"The real worry is that we are in a weaker negotiating position", he said.

With negotiations going nowhere, Trump chose to go forward with the tariffs. There are plenty of tariffs the European Union has on us.

"Today is a bad day for world trade", European Union trade chief Cecila Malmstrom said after Thursday's announcement that the tariffs would finally take effect.

But German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier insisted the Europeans were being "constructive" and were ready to negotiate special trade arrangements, notably for liquefied natural gas and industrial goods, including cars.

"We are prepared to react in a united and clear way whatever the decision of the (U.S.) president", he said. "It's not about who attacks whom, and then wait and see who is still standing at the end".

"This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between longstanding partners, friends and allies".

Nafta talks continue, with a deal needed probably within days to have any hope of passing the current USA congress and with Mexican elections one month away.

  • David Armstrong