Economist calls Trump's new tariffs start of a 'psychopath's trade war'

Canada files WTO complaint over illegal US tariffs

Australia has once again sidestepped US President Donald Trump's haphazard use of hefty steel and aluminium tariffs against his allies, as a trade war looms.

Trudeau earlier deplored a decision by Trump to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

She added her voice to calls for British and European products to be exempt from the charges, saying they contributed to USA national security projects.

"The EU and United Kingdom should be permanently exempted from tariffs and we will continue to work together to protect and safeguard our workers and industries", Mrs May said.

"These unilateral tariffs, imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security, are inconsistent with the United States' worldwide trade obligations and WTO rules", Freeland said in a statement issued on Friday.

"We were not at the negotiating table".

Mexico announced "equivalent" measures on a wide range of U.S. farm and industrial products, including pork legs, apples, grapes, cheese, steel and other goods.

"The EU and United Kingdom should be permanently exempted from tariffs and we will continue to work together to protect and safeguard our workers and industries".

The Trump administration argues the tariffs are limited and created to save America's ailing metals industry, which is needed for defence and national security reasons.

Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union trade commissioner, announced the European Union would be seeking to implement a number of retaliatory tariffs on American products by June 20.

The commissioner refused to say Mr Trump had started a trade war, but said he had created a "very worrying situation".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Lange said he would like to see tariffs imposed on "symbolic" United States products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Canada has responded to the steel and aluminum tariffs with $16.6 billion in planned countermeasures, which includes surtaxes aimed to hit major industries in some high-profile Republican districts, such as gherkins from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan's Wisconsin stomping ground, and whiskies from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky.

The Trump administration wants China to buy more USA goods to lower a trade deficit.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have been holding talks to renegotiate the deal.

Manfred Weber, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said "we will have no choice but to defend European industry, jobs and interests".

On Saturday, Mnuchin told a news conference in Whistler that despite the differences in the room over trade, there were many areas the group was "completely united on".

"We regret that. We would much rather move together in partnership".

No joint final statement emerged from the G7 ministerial meeting, a sign of the strong discord as the world's major economies verged on open trade conflict.

"We have to believe that at some point common sense will prevail, but we see no sign of that in this action today by the U.S. administration".

"By instinct, we strive to make sense of Trump's nonsense, implicitly assuming some hidden strategy", he added.

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