Today, may 31, at midnight, the U.S. imposes duties on the import of aluminum and steel from Canada, Mexico and EU countries. This was announced by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The above-mentioned countries along with other importers will be subject to withholding tax of 25% for steel and 10% aluminum. On March 23 the White house announced the introduction of customs duties for a number of States, while temporary reprieve received, EU countries, Canada and Mexico.
«We are of the opinion that without a strong economy, we will not have a strong national security,» — commented the decision of Ross. According to the administration trump, duty-free imports is the cause of the weakening of the industrial base of the United States, and it threatens national security.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland called trump’s statements about the threat to national security is «absurd».
The EU’s reaction was also immediate. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker considers such actions as «pure protectionism.» The official said that Brussels will retaliate.
The leader of the European people’s party Manfred Weber is concerned about the US decision. He warned that the measures taken by States action would be detrimental not only Europe, but also American consumers. «Europe does not want trade conflict. We believe in fair trade regime, from which all benefit», — he stressed.
Ross also stated that in the case of Canada and Mexico, the United States has not made sufficient progress in negotiations on the North American agreement, and are not yet ready to reduce tariffs for these countries.
However, despite the negative reaction, Wilbur Ross expects to continue negotiations with the EU, Canada and Mexico.