After postponing the imposition of steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on key allies, the Trump administration announced Thursday that, with a few exceptions, time is up for negotiations. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, said Thursday. Apparently not: Negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled, and may drift into 2019.
No other president ever brought it up. and it's gonna be done now, ' Trump said.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump tells Trudeau on NAFTA: US will agree to fair deal or "no deal at all" Dem senator suggests Trump "sending a message to witnesses" with pardons Kim Jong Un hasn't changed his stance on denuclearization: report MORE on Friday struck a defiant tone as he waved off concerns of a mounting trade dispute with the European Union and other USA allies over steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Canada's softwood lumber sector has been dealing with the latest USA tariffs to hit the industry for almost a year, handing over more than $200 million in 2017 to cover duties of about 20 per cent of the value of all exports.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker denounced the move as "protectionism pure and simple", while a UK Government spokesman described it as "deeply disappointing".
Last March, the European Union prepared a list of possible tariffs on American goods, including orange juice, peanut butter, clothing, whiskey, boats and motorcycles. "But we see no sign of that in this action today by the U.S. administration".
The defence industry in both countries are easily among some of the world's largest steel and aluminum consumers; indeed, it was hard to find a spot on the convention floor where a firm wasn't showing off a tank or ship made of steel or a plane made of aluminum. The administration is separately moving ahead with tariffs on Chinese goods.
Brazil, Argentina and Australia have agreed to limit steel shipments to the U.S.to avoid tariffs.
Trump imposed the steel and aluminum penalties under a 1962 law that gives the president broad power to increase or reduce tariffs on goods deemed critical to national security.
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FILE - Jose Mata grinds a steel pipe at the Borusan Mannesmann plant in Baytown, Texas, April 23, 2018.
Stock markets around the world, including in the USA, mostly closed in the negative territory Thursday.
"To be honest with you, I wouldn't mind seeing NAFTA where you'd go by a different name, where you'd make a separate deal with Canada and a separate deal with Mexico", Trump said.
Speaking from a meeting in Paris, Ross noted that talks with Europe had "made some progress", but not enough for the U.S. He said, "We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions".
Mexico, the European Union and Canada immediately announced plans to retaliate with their own tariffs against American products. Mexico's presidential election is one month away and the U.S. Congressional midterms follow in the fall.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized the tariffs. "What they can do, we're able to do exactly the same".
Trump continued to face criticism Friday.
The news organization reports House Speaker Paul Ryan said there were better means to help American makers of steel and aluminum, and that he hopes to show Trump the other options.
"We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans-Levi's", he said according to Reuters. Trump directed the Commerce Department to investigate whether auto imports threaten national security.