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Trump considers global tariffs on steel imports, including Canada

EU is drawing up a list of US products to target – including orange juice and Kentucky bourbon – if Washington restricts imports of aluminum and steel.


WASHINGTON — The US has fired a warning shot in what could become a global trade war.

It’s threatening to clobber worldwide steel imports with tariffs.

The US administration has delivered a series of recommendations to President Donald Trump, and he must decide on a course of action by April.

What he decides to do holds major consequences for Canada – a big steel exporter to the US.

One option would see the US impose a 24% tariff on steel imports from everywhere – including Canada. Another option would see a 53% tariff on a smaller list of countries – which would spare Canada.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president could choose a third option: To do nothing, or something completely different.

A German newspaper reports the European Union is drawing up a list of US products to target – including orange juice and Kentucky bourbon – if Washington restricts imports of aluminum and steel.

The US Commerce Department last week urged President Donald Trump to impose tariffs or quotas on foreign-made metals, citing national security concerns.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily reported the European Commission plans to retaliate with tariffs on US agricultural products, but also whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas declined to comment on the list but said the EU would take “appropriate measures to defend EU industry.”

He said in Brussels “we stand ready to react swiftly and appropriately in case our exports are affected by any restrictive trade measures from the United States.”

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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