NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is reaction Friday following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from three of America’s key trading partners.
The 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union became effective at midnight. The Trump Administration made the announcement on Thursday.
“Let me be clear. These tariffs are totally unacceptable,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau fired back, announcing Canada’s own tariffs against the U.S. in retaliation with a dollar for dollar import tax on U.S. goods and services including imported steel and aluminum, coffee, yogurt and maple syrup. They are expected to go into effect next month.
“Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the U.S. defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks,” said Trudeau. “That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable.”
The EU and Mexico also responded, announcing plans to levy their own tariffs on U.S. imports.
“The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organisation rules,” President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said in a statement. “This is protectionism, pure and simple.”
When asked on CNBC if the U.S. just declared a trade war on some of our closest trading partners, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, “No, not at all.”
“As you know, this has been under discussion for quite a long and it is a very small percentage of the respective economies,” he said.
But the leaders of many U.S. industries, including auto companies and breweries, fear the president’s tariffs will cost U.S. jobs.
“Very few jobs will be brought back in aluminum smelting in particular, where we have the potential of losing, just in beer, upwards of 20,000 good paying jobs,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute.
Trump signed the new tariffs into law back in March, but exempted Canada, Mexico and the EU for negotiations.