US tariffs on metals trigger retaliation from EU, Mexico

The US will start imposing 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on aluminium from Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU) from Friday (June 1), its Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday. EU said it would shortly announce “counterbalancing’ measures. It has already submitted a list to the WTO of US products that could face 25% import duties from June 20. They include motorbikes, blue jeans, bourbon whiskey, orange juice and peanut butter. Mexico said it would impose higher tariffs on goods imported from the US like steel sheets, lamps, apples, grapes and cheese to balance the losses from US tariffs. US President Donald Trump had initially extended tariff exemptions to EU, Canada and Mexico. Australia, Argentina and Brazil, which also enjoyed temporary tariff waivers, have agreed to limit shipments of these metals in lieu of permanent tariff exemptions.  European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker termed the US move  “protectionism, pure and simple” while EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom called it a bad day for world trade.