Macron tells Trump tariffs illegal and a mistake

03 June 2018, 08:33 | Isaac Mcdaniel

ASSOCIATED PRESS Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa Ontario

ASSOCIATED PRESS           Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa Ontario

Group of Seven nations moved closer to a trade war with the United States on Saturday, as six members of the exclusive club singled out their American partner over tariffs they warn have undermined open trade and shaken confidence in the global economy.

Britain has stressed the importance of United Kingdom steel to the American defense industry.

Trudeau said he regrets the action but said they must do it.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that he told Trump in a phone call that the new USA tariffs on European, Mexican and Canadian goods were illegal and a "mistake".

The US decided the tariffs in March, but gave Canada and the European Union - the biggest sources of foreign aluminium and steel for the US - a grace period that ended on May 31.

That from Brussels, as the U.S. slaps tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from the bloc.

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

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.

"Technological innovation ... keeps our companies competitive in the global market and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Europe", Malmstrom said.

"They think they can make Europeans look small".

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"I want to make it clear. that it is up to the USA administration to make the right decisions to alleviate the situation and ease the difficulties", said Le Maire at the end of talks.

The British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox called President Trump's decision "wrong and illegal".

Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and a former Mulroney cabinet minister at the time of the original Canada-U.S. free trade deal, expressed surprise at the sunset-clause tactic. "Any government that embarks on a protectionist path inflicts the most damage on itself".

"The inevitable result of putting these tariffs on imports will be to increase prices on consumer goods for its own citizens".

"That is why we are challenging the U.S. and China at the WTO and it demonstrates that we are not choosing any side", she said.

Dr Merkel said the measure "risks touching off spirals of escalation that in the end hurt everyone". They report a really high surplus on trade with us.

Mr Trump originally imposed the tariffs in March, saying a reliance on imported metals threatened national security.

U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs are driving a wedge in the G7 - and laying the groundwork for a potential clash among its leaders next week in Quebec's Charlevoix region. Macron pledged the riposte would be "firm" and "proportionate" and in line with World Trade Organization rules.

The European Union is planning retaliatory tariffs on USA steel and food goods in the coming weeks, once it calculates the exact cost to European Union companies of the US tariffs.

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

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