Text Size:
Updated On: Sunday, 27 May 2018

Trump’s Tariffs Elicit Strong Response at Home, Abroad

Content by: Voice of America

U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum is eliciting strong reactions at home and around the world.

America’s neighbors breathed a sigh of relief at being granted an exemption from the tariffs.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said despite the concession, Canada would continue to push back.

“In recent days, we have worked energetically with our American counterparts to secure an exemption for Canada from these tariffs,” she said. “This work continues and it will continue until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted.”

Canada is the largest supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States. Freeland ridiculed Trump’s national security justification for the measure, saying: “That Canada could pose any kind of security threat to the United States is inconceivable.”

FILE - Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks to the media following NAFTA renegotiations in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Jan. 29, 2018.
FILE - Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks to the media following NAFTA renegotiations in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Jan. 29, 2018.

Allies combative

Other allies took an equally combative stance.

“Protectionism, tariffs never really work,” British trade minister Liam Fox said Thursday. “We can deal multilaterally with the overproduction of steel, but this is the wrong way to go about it,” he said.

As did Canada, Fox said it was “doubly absurd” to target Britain with steel tariffs on national security grounds when it only provided the U.S. with 1 percent of its imports and made steel for the American military.

France said it “regrets” Trump’s decision.

“There are only losers in a trade war. With our EU partners, we will assess consequences on our industries and agree (to an) appropriate response,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted Thursday.

Last week, Le Maire had warned that any such measures by the U.S. would be “unacceptable” and called for a “strong, coordinated, united response from the EU.”

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom speaks during an interview with Reuters at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 15, 2018.
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom speaks during an interview with Reuters at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 15, 2018.

Negotiate exemptions

During the announcement of the tariffs, the White House said that countries concerned by the tariffs could try to negotiate possible exemptions.

“The EU is a close ally of the U.S. and we continue to think that the EU must be exempted from these measures,” said EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom.

“I will demand more clarity on this issue in the days to come,” she said.

WATCH: Economists Warn of Escalating Trade War Following US Steel Tariffs

Economists Warn of Escalating Trade War Following US Steel Tariffs please wait Embedshare
Economists Warn of Escalating Trade War Following US Steel Tariffs
Embedshare The code has been copied to your clipboard.

The URL has been copied to your clipboard

No media source currently available

0:000:02:30

GET CONNECTED WITH US

Subscribe to our newsletter