United States tariff hikes wrong approach:United Kingdom minister

Wary of being tainted, some world leaders may not want to negotiate with Trump on trade

In any case, the overall volume of trade between U.S. and India - less than $150 billion - is small beer compared to trade with its top four partners EU, China, Canada, and Mexico, each topping $500 billion.

Unswayed by Republican warnings of a trade war, President Donald Trump ordered steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the US on Thursday, vowing to fight back against an "assault on our country" by foreign competitors. "Our economy and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law", he said. He invited some of the workers to speak from the presidential podium, and several said that excessive "dumping" of foreign steel and aluminum had negatively affected their jobs and families.

In addition to Trump, Trudeau spoke to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Europe's biggest economy and No. 1 steel exporter to the US, said on Friday that she was "concerned" by the American measures.

The EU exported about 5.5 million tons of steel to the USA a year ago.

Canada is the biggest source of United States steel imports, while Mexico is in the top five, meaning a significant share of imports will be exempt from the tariffs.

Trump drew on rarely-used national security grounds to place a 25 percent tax on steel imports and 10 percent tax on imported aluminum.

He also warned that a cascade of trade protectionism risked hurting the global economy, and ultimately the U.S. as well.

In 2017, USA coal imports totalled 3.2 million tonnes, worth about $420 million and almost five times the 694 tonnes taken in the previous year. "What I have read today is that they are probably considering some exemptions to NAFTA countries. but also they have mentioned the United Kingdom and maybe some other countries", Mr. Katainen said. One lever that China has is United States agricultural exports, and it has said in the past that it could target soybeans. Trump recently declared that "trade wars are good, and easy to win".

The EU's trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels on Saturday but the EU executive said the talks would not solve all the problems.

Some, including the European Union, have threatened retaliatory tariffs on USA products such as bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Trade body UK Steel said the tariffs could have a "profound and detrimental impact", while the Community union demanded action to protect British jobs and avoid a "global trade war".

Trump had applied pressure on his staff to complete the tariffs before the end of this week, hoping the announcement can help him rally voters behind the Republican candidate in a Pennsylvania special election next week in the state's 18th Congressional District.

While the WTO's General Director Roberto Azevedo stated that if Trump would take such a step, he would take on a serious risk to enter an economically damaging trade war, IMF President Christine Lagarde said other countries' response to the U.S.'s plan with new customs tariffs will have serious macroeconomic effects. The U.S, Canada and Mexico are working to create a framework to negotiate new conditions for their existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Freeland was also told that, "on aluminum, like in the United States, the Canadian industry has also raised concerns about misclassification of exports from China and we would be happy to work with U.S. Customs on this type of issue as well".

Warnings to the soybean growers group about their product being used as a target in trade disputes were made past year, group officials told Reuters on Friday. But we'll terminate NAFTA, and that'll be it.

European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said Brussels would not accept a carve-out for Britain, which has voted to leave the EU but remains a member until 2019.

Having already alienated them, Washington may also find it hard to muster support from its Western trading partners in pressuring China to end its unfair trade practices.

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