United States risks trade fight with Europe as sanctions delay expires

SAUL LOEB  AFP  Getty

Allowing the exemptions to expire would likely lead to retaliation from those nations and possibly trigger a broader trade war.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom was due to speak with Ross on Monday in a last-ditch pitch for the 28 EU member countries.

South Korea accepted a quota of 70 per cent of the average of its steel exports to the United States between 2015 and 2017, which can come in tariff-free.

Mnuchin's comments conflicted somewhat with comments by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who told Bloomberg News in an interview published on Sunday that the White House would continue granting some countries relief from the metals tariffs.

In exchange for a permanent exemption from the metals tariffs, the Trump administration is pushing countries to accept quotas on the amount of steel and aluminum they export to the US. The U.S. refused to offer the European Union compensation and said the request for consultations had no basis under WTO rules. South Korea made up the largest share, shipping about 13 percent of US imports, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute analysis of government data.

"We have been discussing this with the USA administration and letting them know it would be a very bad idea to disrupt (the) very complex trade between Canada and the United States when it comes to steel and aluminum", said Trudeau.

The EU has compiled a list of retaliatory tariffs worth about $3.5 billion it will impose if its steel and aluminum isn't exempted.

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So, can Red Bull mount a challenge for victory in Baku? Whether that will be a turning point in this season remains to be seen. But the young driver may have just learned his lesson and this next race will be a test to see if he has. "I don't know.

The European Union last week asked to join a case, starting with consultations, that was initiated by China at the World Trade Organization over the USA steel and aluminum tariffs.

"The European Union should be ready to decisively defend its interests within the framework of multilateral trade rules", Merkel said.

The leaders agreed to work with the rest of the European Union and the Trump administration to secure permanent exemptions, according to the a readout from May's office. Before the tariffs were introduced, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the bloc "won't talk about anything while there's a gun pointed at our head".

Mnuchin noted in the interview that he is not concerned about China's retaliatory measures in response to United States tariffs.

As previously announced, the contingent will include U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as well as White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. "The president gave us time to address these issues and the president is going to make a decision", Mnuchin said.

The EU and USA are the world's biggest economic partners, with two-way trade valued at US$765 billion (632 billion euros) for goods in 2017 and at 437 billion euros for services in 2016, according to the European Commission.

Most analysts, however, think it's unlikely the talks will reach permanent agreements and will more likely mark the start of longer-term negotiations.

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