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Trump sets off trade war with allies

By BBC | June 2nd 2018
By BBC | June 2nd 2018
US President Donald Trump

Europe, Canada and Mexico are planning retaliatory moves after President Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US.

The European Union issued a 10-page list of tariffs on US goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to food products.

It also plans to challenge the move at the World Trade Organisation. Mr Trump claimed the tariffs would protect US steelmakers, which were vital to national security.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Trump to tell him the tariffs were “illegal” - a term echoed by Bernd Lange, chair of the European Parliament’s international trade committee.

The MEP hoped a trade war could be avoided but warned that Trump’s action demonstrated the US president was “not willing to stick to the rules”.

Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier hoped a decisive EU response would make Trump reconsider his decision. UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the 25 per cent levy on steel was “patently absurd”.

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