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Legal challenge against US, China: ‘Door to trade negotiations with US closed’

03 June 2018

The EU said it has opened legal challenges against China and the United States at the World Trade Organization on Friday as punishing trade tariffs announced by Washington raised the prospects of a global trade war.

Britain has stressed the importance of United Kingdom steel to the American defense industry.

University of Ottawa professor Patrick Leblond said in an interview with AFP that Trudeau's newfound swagger "will help the Liberals in the next election".

The new 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico come into force at midnight (04:00 GMT, Friday), according to US Commerce Secretary Ross.

The response followed Washington's decision on Thursday to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

Canada responded with duties of 25% on United States steel and aluminium, and 10% on consumer goods such as ketchup, orange juice, sailboats and washing machines, which will take effect July 1. But the two sides could not reach an agreement.

Europe hit back at the U.S. after President Donald Trump slapped tough tariffs on European steel and aluminium earlier this week.

"We know that the incumbent party suffers (at the ballot box) when the economy is bad", Leblond said.

The European Union and China said they will deepen ties on trade and investment as a result.

The stakes in a trade war are high: The United States and European Union trade just over €1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) in goods and services each year. "Instead of imposing piecemeal tariffs on our trading partners, he should comprehensively and fundamentally re-write all of our failed unfettered trade policies to stop the race to the bottom and lift living standards in the US and throughout the world".

The summit's back on: Trump, NKorea's Kim to meet after all
In regards to his abrupt cancellation of the summit last week, Trump said "we're over that, we're totally over that". By the next day, he was signaling the event could be back on after a conciliatory response from North Korea.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Mogherini said the two "confirmed our joint support for the WTO as the center of the rules-based, multilateral trading system".

The British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox called President Trump's decision "wrong and illegal".

Maude on Friday told the BBC "this is stupid".

Fears of a global trade war are overshadowing the G7 talks in the Canadian resort town of Whistler, as Washington's allies vow to push back against the United States decision on tariffs. It's counterproductive, that any government that embarks on a protectionist path inflicts the most damage on itself.

Trudeau on Thursday said he felt the U.S., Mexico and Canada were on the verge of a renegotiated NAFTA that he described as a "win, win, win" before the talks stalled after the Pence phone call.

"There are fears that this marks the start of a negative spiral of measures and countermeasures where there will ultimately be no winners", the company said.

U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs are driving a wedge in the G7 - and laying the groundwork for a potential clash among its leaders next week in Quebec's Charlevoix region.

The riposte would be "firm" and "proportionate", and in line with WTO rules, Macron said.

Soaring demand for lumber from the booming US housing construction sector, where housing starts were higher than they have been in a decade previous year, has helped pushed prices to record highs.

The purchases Washington wants Beijing to commit to are aimed at reducing the $375 billion USA trade deficit with China. This could mean that the EU will either neutralize or retaliate against the US with European tariffs.

Legal challenge against US, China: ‘Door to trade negotiations with US closed’