Canada hits USA with billions in retaliatory tariffs in steel row

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"Canada is a secure supplier of steel and aluminum to the USA defence industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa, where he and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined retaliatory tariffs of their own.

"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 U.S. administration also launched a national security investigation last week into auto and truck imports, using the same 1962 law it has applied to curb incoming steel and aluminum."The Trump administration seems to regard overt threats, including tariffs and repudiation of previous agreements, as a key element for gaining leverage in trade negotiations", said Eswar Prasad, a former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division and now a professor at Cornell University.

"It has been a tense and tough G7 - I would say it's been far more a G6 plus one than a G7", said Le Maire, who called the tariffs unjustified.

She said: "It could escalate and also the economic recovery that we have seen lately, notably in the European Union but globally, risks to be diminished by this".

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Earlier it fell to $1.1510, its lowest level since last July before recovering to trade 0.5 percent down on the day at $1.1565. Wall Street is also poised for a lower opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.7 percent.

United Kingdom steel bosses have also expressed fears of the effect tariffs will have on the industry , saying that the USA move is a "big mistake". "So now this door for the moment is closed".

After the measures were announced on Thursday, the UK's worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox also dismissed Mr Trump's claim that the tariffs were for security reasons .

Trump had offered the two USA neighbors a permanent exemption from the tariffs if they agreed to U.S. demands on NAFTA, but the talks have stalled.

But he saw as "a very worrying development" Washington's justification that the measures were needed for reasons of national security.

The U.S. action widens a rift with America's closest allies, threatens to drive up prices for companies and consumers that buy steel and aluminum, heightens uncertainty for businesses and is already alarming investors in global financial markets.

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And in another leg of Trump's multi-front trade offensive, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing to continue fraught talks with Chinese officials.

"This will only lead to the victory of those who want less growth, those who don't think we can develop our economies across the world".

The trade actions have opened the criticism that it's burning bridges at a time when Trump is seeking to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons and help stabilize the Middle East. "We are ready to rebuild this multilateralism with our American friends", he said. US trading partners had demanded that the exemptions be extended or made permanent. In fact, U.S. Commerce Department numbers show, the United States recorded a trade surplus with Canada for each of the past three years.

The World Trade Organisation's former chief, Pascal Lamy, also said the damage would likely be limited in concrete terms. The US President has threatened to respond to any new EU trade barriers with a tax on cars produced by European automakers. "Nothing", French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.

As for the U.S.'s national security argument, Fox said, "In the case of the United Kingdom, we send steel to the USA that is vital to their defence industry; it is patently absurd".

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Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven ― the world's seven leading economies ― European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told Reuters such an approach made it tougher to bring China in line. Dombrovskis reiterated the European Union position during the G7 meeting.

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