United States tariffs make China trade issues more hard to resolve, European Union says

If there is an escalation of trade tensions it will be because of the EU’s decision to retaliate’ says Wilbur Ross

Top European officials are holding last-ditch talks with the USA commerce and trade chiefs just two days before the Trump administration decides whether to hit Europe with new tariffs.

Trudeau said he spoke with US President Donald Trump last week and offered to fly to Washington and sit down with him to hammer out the "final details of NAFTA because there were broad lines of a decent win-win-win deal on the table".

The U.S. administration also launched a national security investigation last week into vehicle 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. -European animosity over the Iraq war in 2003 escalated to the point that some conservative US lawmakers wanted French fries renamed in the House of Representatives cafeteria.

However, if the Trump administration proceeds with its proposal to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese tech products, the statement warned, "all the economic and trade benefits negotiated by both sides are not going to take effect".

The European Union has formally set in motion its trade retaliation against the United States over tariffs, filing on Friday a request for consultations at the World Trade Organization.

European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the 28-nation bloc "will announce in the next coming hours counterbalancing measures" in response to the United States action.

Trump's antagonistic trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - drew global denunciation.

"They report a really high surplus on trade with us".

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday he was dumbfounded by Washington's national security basis for the tariffs, given that United States and Canadian troops had fought together in World War II, Afghanistan and elsewhere. "That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable".

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 leaders' summit next week.

"We are alienating all of our friends and partners at a time when we could really use their support", said Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade negotiator who is now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

"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 U.S. tariffs coincide with - and could complicate - the Trump administration's separate fight over Beijing's strong-arm tactics to overtake U.S. technological supremacy. Noting her discussions with US officials, she said. But they can increase costs more broadly for US manufacturers that cannot source all their needs locally and have to import the materials.

Even some Trump allies in Congress said the trade moves were misguided.

According to, the current trade trend is destroying the USA steel and aluminum sectors.

Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the USA can help local producers of the metals by making foreign products more expensive. The US President has threatened to respond to any new EU trade barriers with a tax on cars produced by European automakers. "This is exactly what happened in the 1930s", Macron said. Trudeau and Macron will meet next week in Ottawa before the G7 to talk strategy. Ross will also meet the German and French economy ministers.

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