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Trump to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada as of midnight

Trump slaps steel tariffs on closest allies as tensions rise

The administration says the tariffs (25% for steel imports, and 10% for aluminum imports) are being applied because reliance on imports is damaging USA "national security".

Study says auto tariffs will cost 157K jobs MORE said Thursday that despite those discussions the United States would slap the tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada, which combined account for about 50 percent of all steel and aluminum imported into the U.S.

Hitting Canada and Mexico with the tariffs could be a huge blow to Nafta talks.

The tariffs directed at some of the U.S.'s most ardent allies represented the latest move in Trump's "America First" agenda that has roiled financial markets and raised the specter of a trade war involving the U.S., China and some of the globe's most dominant economies.

He is pressing ahead with 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, even after last week saying that dispute was "on hold", and 25 percent tariffs on auto imports, which is likely to spark a fierce reaction from the European Union as well.

"What President Trump is proposing to do here is not free trade and it's against WTO rules", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

According to the Associated Press, French President Emmanuel Macron alluded to Trump's leadership style directly in slamming the pending tariffs in a Wednesday speech. That share prices of BMW (BMWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE).

The three allies were previously given temporary exemptions from the duties - 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. "The fact that we took a tariff action does not mean there can not be a negotiation".

Besides a WTO case, Malmström said the European Union will impose "rebalancing measures and take any necessary steps to protect the European Union market from trade diversion caused by these U.S. restrictions".

The EU has threatened to retaliate with tariffs on Harley Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, measures aimed at the political bases of Republican legislators who they wanted to stand up to Trump.

Mexico responded to US steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing wide-ranging "equivalent" measures on farm and industrial products, the economy ministry said on Thursday, ratcheting up tensions during talks to renegotiate NAFTA.

Ross explained that the previous extension for Canada and Mexico was specifically due to ongoing NAFTA talks, but that "those talks had been taking longer than we had hoped" and there's no longer a precise date of when a deal may be reached. "Over the past months we have continuously engaged with the U.S.at all possible levels to jointly address the problem of overcapacity in the steel sector".

However, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier appeared with Le Maire in Paris on Wednesday, pledging a unified line.

'The next question would be: how will the President react?

Starting Friday, steel imports from those countries will be subject to a 25% tariff, and aluminum imports will be hit with a 10% tariff.

"We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand as there are other issues we need to get resolved", the commerce secretary said.