European Union joins battle vs.Trump tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump | Alex Wong  Getty Images

May said in a statement that the U.S., the European Union and Britain are close allies and have always promoted values of open and fair trade across the world.

The initial tariffs were announced in March after President said that the USA had been unfairly treated in trade with its neighboring and oversees partners.

These items include yogurt, coffee, sugar, toilet paper, sailboats, mattresses, washing machines and lawn mowers - all aimed at exerting pressure on key USA states that export a lot to Canada.

After the measures were announced on Thursday, the UK's global trade secretary Liam Fox also dismissed Mr Trump's claim that the tariffs were for security reasons . "Congress can not sit idly by as Donald Trump continues to isolate the United States and cede leadership to Russian Federation and China on the global stage". "That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable".

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.

"But we are in a very hard situation caused by the United States".

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And in another leg of Trump's multi-front trade offensive, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing to continue fraught talks with Chinese officials.

Following Saturday's conclusion of a three-day meeting of G7 finance ministers, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued a summary saying the other six members want Trump to hear their message of "concern and disappointment" over the US trade actions.

Ms Malmstrom said a final decision on what products would be hit with tariffs had not yet been made, but added that they would be from an already published list which includes the likes of Levi's jeans, bourbon whiskey, cranberries and peanut butter.

Germany's Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, warned that the decision could start a trade war that no side would win.

"But as the CBI have said, we do not want a trade war which does more to harm United Kingdom industries and consumers".

"The most likely outcome ... could be protracted negotiations during which both the U.S. and the European Union lock horns but do not take ever more dramatic headline-grabbing protectionist steps", Schmieding said.

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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had said the tariffs would be "unjustified and dangerous". David O'Sullivan, the EU's ambassador in Washington, said the retaliation will probably be announced in late June. "So, the United States is playing a unsafe game here". -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.

Brussels and Ottawa on Friday filed legal challenges at the World Trade Organization against Washington's decision.

"Trade was discussed in the G7 in the context of risks to global economic growth and it was highlighted by quite a number of participants", Dombrovskis said. "One can think about making voters happy by saying, 'I have a victory, I'll change the rules, you'll see'".

Besides the USA steel and aluminum tariffs, the U.S.is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.

The G7 ministers urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to deliver their message before leaders of the group's member countries meet next week in Quebec.

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