Mexico hits back with $3 billion in tariffs on USA products

Cheryl Sanders
June 7, 2018

Asked about Trump's remark that the Canadians burned down the White House, aides to the President and to Canada's Trudeau declined to comment.

Mexico has announced new tariffs on U.S. products in response to Donald Trump's decision to impose steep duties on imports of steel and aluminium. The dangers of Trump's move will become very clear when those former allies drag our protectionist leaders before the World Trade Organization and the United States loses as experts predict we will. But trade tensions are heating up, culminating in a heated phone call between President Trump and Justin Trudeau, in which Trump dropped some history on the Canadian Prime Minister. But "The President is at ease with all these tough issues" and would be "sticking to his guns". The focus on pork also serves to make a political statement: According to Census Bureau data, 10 out of the top 15 states for pork exports to Mexico voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

"Canada's position is, and always has been that the trilateral approach is actually better for Canada, for Mexico and for the United States", he said. Never mind that six of the top 10 providers of steel to the USA are our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and closest friends.

The U.S. trade deficit, however, fell to a seven-month low in April as exports rose to a record high, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.

"A 20% tariff eliminates our ability to compete effectively in Mexico", said Jim Heimerl, the trade group's president and a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio.

Mexico has published the tariffs it is imposing on products imported from the U.S. in response to the Trump administration's duties on Mexican steel and aluminium.

The Trump administration has held out the possibility of scrapping the treaty entirely and negotiating bilateral trade agreements, something both Canada and Mexico oppose.

"Trump's America First isn't isolationist, but it is strongly unilateralist, which stands in direct opposition to the US-led multilateral institutions of the post war order", Mr Bremmer told The Straits Times.

In response Canada implemented retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

But a negative WTO outcome for the US would open the path to punitive tariffs from USA trade partners. USA stocks were trading higher on Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by six Republicans and four Democrats, would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to place tariffs on imports in the interest of national security, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.

Adding to the uncertainty is European anger over Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the global nuclear agreement with Iran.

Ministers from Germany, France and Britain have already written to USA officials urging them to shield European companies working in Iran from getting caught up in Washington's new sanctions on Tehran.

"And I would just say to all of Canada's American friends - and there are so many - seriously?"

"It's understandable that change causes friction", the official said, noting some of Trump's recent tariff announcements have brought stubborn trading partners back to the negotiating table.

In an effort to level what he considers an uneven playing field for trade, Trump has turned to tariffs. Trump later said he "had no idea" whether the claim was true.

Other reports by iNewsToday