G7 Finance Chiefs Kick Trade Dispute To Leaders' Summit In Quebec

Donald Trump hints at new deal

Canadian businesses are digesting the industry ramifications of the cross-border tariff war that erupted on Thursday, with Trump announcing the USA will slap tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau firing back with $16.6-billion worth of "dollar-for-dollar" countermeasures on goods ranging from playing cards to maple syrup to yogurt.

Trudeau called the reasoning "frankly insulting and unacceptable".

The Trump administration triggered a major global trade war last week when it imposed hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

In the interview published this Sunday, Trudeau confirmed his nation will establish reciprocal direct tariffs in retaliation.

Global trade tensions are soaring just days ahead of the upcoming G7 summit with top USA economic partners like China and France both issuing fresh warnings that import tariffs announced this week by the Trump administration run the serious risk of creating a trade war in all directions: East, West, North, and South.

The group's highly unusual public rebuke of one of its own members called out the US for hefty steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed in recent days on its G7 friends.

Trudeau also warned his American counterpart that implementing new tariffs won't just hurt Canada - it will hit America's labor force as well.

"One of things I have to admit I'm having a lot trouble getting around is that this whole thing has come about because the president and the administration has decided that Canada - Canadian steel and aluminum - is a national security threat to the United States", Trudeau told NBC's Chuck Todd.

"The implementation of new tariffs will disrupt the USA oil and natural gas industry's complex supply chain, compromising ongoing and future US energy projects, which could weaken our national security", said API President and CEO Jack Gerard in a statement.

Germany, by far the biggest exporter to the United States, is keen to avoid a wider trade war, especially as the Trump administration has floated the prospect of tariffs on cars, which would potentially be devastating to German exporters.

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Kudlow added, "To say that it is an attack on Canada is not right".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had also said Thursday that US Vice President Mike Pence had insisted on including a "sunset" privision - which would require the trade pact's renewal in five years - as a precondition for a meeting to handle out final details.

Trump, as part of his crusade against what he calls the unjust trade laws for his country, had announced those tariffs in March, but extended temporary exemptions to several of its allies.

Leaders of the group's member countries meet next week in Quebec and ministers urged the United States to abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders' summit to prevent deeper divisions.

"What we've shown this week is that when faced with challenges that were going to not be in Canadians' best interests, that we'll take action", said Morneau, the point person for Trudeau on many of these major files. "We're that interconnected, so we want a win/win, and that's what we've been working toward".

"And that's why I regard this as more of a family quarrel".

Mnuchin also noted that when it came to the other countries' views on USA trade actions that "there was clearly a consensus from the rest of them", according to the Wall Street Journal.

Le Maire said it is up to the U.S. to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation during the upcoming leaders' summit. Canada, China and the European Union also announced they will address these actions at the World Trade Organization. But Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said there was "no longer a very precise date" as to when talks would end and that the tariffs went into effect at midnight Thursday as a result. General Motors was the in the U.S.in 2017 while Ford was number three.

If the WTO hears the complaint, Georgetown law professor Jennifer Hillman says the chances that the organization would side against the US are extremely strong because, "it's a very clear case of a violation".

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