Trump's tariffs plan 'absolutely unacceptable': Trudeau

Trump's tariffs plan 'absolutely unacceptable': Trudeau

US President Donald Trump says he will impose a tax on European vehicle imports if the EU raises tariffs on incoming American goods, accusing his predecessors of leaving the US hostage to "very stupid" trade deals.

China has warned about the "huge impact" on global trading, if U.S. President Donald Trump proceeds with his plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum products.

Canada and the European Union said they would bring forward their own countermeasures.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said any USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be "absolutely unacceptable" and vowed to continue to engage with US officials on the issue.

The proposed import duties would boost primary aluminum smelting jobs by an estimated 1,900, while at the same time destroying 23,000 to 90,000 jobs downstream, according to a report released Friday by Harbor, an aluminum industry consulting firm.

"As a key NORAD and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, and as the number one customer of American steel, Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable", said Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"This is going to be a scenario that turns quickly, and the harm that can be done to the domestic industry is significant in a very short period of time", said Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

This prompted a steep stock market selloff and a sharp rebuke from industry leaders as well as prominent GOP leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Pennsylvania Sen.

The White House has embarked on a campaign to renew American infrastructure, with steel likely a major input.

For certain grades of steel, the United States can not show there was any increase of imports a year ago, the European Union sources say, meaning it would not be allowed to apply safeguard measures to them.

The EU's targeting of bourbon whiskey and motorcycles had been expected and matches similar moves in 2003 during a "steel war" unleashed by the administration of then-US president George W. Bush.

This "America First" approach may satiate Trump's need to paint foreign countries, even valuable trade partners, in antagonistic terms.

To apply these tariffs, the invoking a rarely used clause in a 1962 trade law that allows the president to declare tariffs if required by national security.

"This is a hostile act to all of them", he said.

"This has been tried before. This should really be a wake-up call", Hejazi said. "It's not always that easy to pull one strand out".

Gutierrez, now the chairman of Albright Stonebridge Group, ran the Commerce Department under former President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009.

Refusing to spare friendly countries from the punishing tariffs could further inflame tensions created by Trump's sudden announcement on Thursday to protect American metal producers on national security grounds.