American allies including Canada have protested the planned protectionist move by the president, saying they shouldn't be covered by Trump's planned 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
However, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said Trump still has a small chance to avoid a damaging global trade war and asked the United States leader to reconsider his aims before he signed them into effect next week.
Associated Press/Evan Vucci President Donald Trump speaks at the Public Safety Medal of Valor awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington.
The analysis came a day after Trump surprised seemingly everyone with specific, imminent tariffs on the materials.
President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports won't prop up the sagging industry for long, according to former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said over the weekend: "The Prime Minister raised our deep concern at the president's forthcoming announcement on steel and aluminium tariffs, noting that multilateral action was the only way to resolve the problem of global overcapacity in all parties' interests". That is no showstopper, they contended.
In a later social media post, Trump said his aim was to protect U.S.jobs in the face of cheaper foreign products.
Meanwhile, industry will watch global trade developments for signs of tensions turning into trouble, and early signs pointed to emerging tensions.
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Howe's union, the United Steelworkers, is already lobbying the USA government for changes, he says, and hopes American ownership in the Canadian steel industry will put Canada at an advantage.
About a third would be steel grades, another third other industrial products and a final third agricultural products. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don't trade anymore-we win big.
The EU's response matches similar moves during a 2003 "steel war" unleashed by George W. Bush's administration - which prompted he U.S.to back down before the EU carried out its threat.
Wang Hejun, head of China's commerce ministry's trade remedy and investigation bureau, said in a statement late Friday the tariffs would "seriously damage multilateral trade mechanisms represented by the World Trade Organization and will surely have huge impact on normal global trade order".
The US imports steel from more than 100 nations and brings in four times more steel from overseas than it exports.
While the U.S. is the world's largest steel importer, the amount of steel produced in the United States during the first nine months of 2017 far outweighed the amount brought to the country. He is reported to be planning new tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminium imports.