Trade war? What you need to know about USA steel tariffs

Trump to hit EU, Canada and Mexico with steel and aluminium tariffs

Some stocks of USA companies that could be adversely affected by the tariffs, or by possible retaliatory action against the US, headed down.

The administration first announced the tariffs back in early March, portraying them as an aggressive effort to fight the perfidious behavior of China and other countries to subsidize their domestic metals industries, undermining American national security.

USA trading partners had demanded that the exemptions be extended or made permanent.

The EU has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on USA cranberries, peanut butter, whisky, denim and other popular goods if the United States makes good on its tariff threat. Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesperson, also called the tariffs "unlawful".

Mexico has also announced retaliatory tariffs on United States imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheese and flat steel, according to a statement from Mexico's Economy Ministry.

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Finally, talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement remain unresolved.

The Mexican peso weakened by more than 1 percent against the dollar, briefly crossing the 20-to-the-dollar threshold to the weakest versus the greenback in 14 months.

Canada's countermeasures amount up to $16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the Unites States.

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

"We will not accept this highly regrettable decision without reacting", he said.

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The White House is expected to confirm today plans to slap tariffs of 25 per cent on imported European Union steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, a move which could trigger a bitter transatlantic dispute. Products hit by this could include American-made blue jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles.

Dieter Kempf, president of the Federation of German Industries, said in an interview aired Thursday by public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that he predicts a "trade spiral" as a result of the tariffs. "Nothing", French President Emmanuel Macron said in an impassioned speech Wednesday. That share prices of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen.

"Trade is an area where President Trump's thinking and policy differs profoundly from most other Republicans", said longtime Republican operative Michael Steel. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has said the details of the USA decision would guide the EU's response.

"Unilateral trade tariffs are always a negative sum game", he said on Twitter.

If he does impose the tariffs, the European Union has vowed to hit back with its own tariffs on American goods, including iconic items such as Harley-Davidson motorbikes, blue jeans and bourbon whiskey. "There is a feeling that if we respond too strongly, this will escalate, and that would damage everyone, but Europe would damaged most of all".

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The Commission has said the European Union will set duties on 2.8 billion euros (US$3.4 billion) of USA exports, including peanut butter and denim jeans, if its metals exports to the United States worth 6.4 billion euros (US$7.5 billion) are subject to tariffs.

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