May 31, 2018 12:40 pm
Updated: May 31, 2018 3:26 pm

From pork to jeans — countries threaten tariff retaliation for U.S. steel, aluminum duties

WATCH: Trump to impose steel, aluminum tariffs

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The European Union, Mexico and Canada were slapped with steel and aluminum tariffs by the United States on Thursday. And now they’re hitting back.

The countries had previously been exempt from the tariffs, which the U.S. imposed earlier this year.

READ MORE: U.S. imposes steel and aluminum tariffs, Canada hits back

But U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross withdrew that exemption Thursday morning, saying that they will be subject to import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

The countries, which had been bracing for such a move by the U.S. for some months, were swift in their condemnation of the move.

The European Union said it has no choice but to defend itself and its industries following the move, while a spokesperson said the U.K. government was “deeply disappointed.”

WATCH: Wilbur Ross on steel tariffs — countries ‘will get over this in due course’


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“The U.K. and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium,” the U.K. statement read.

Mexico also spoke out, slamming the U.S. for saying the tariffs are needed for “national security” proposes.

“Mexico has repeatedly indicated that this type of measures under the criterion of national security are not adequate or justified,” a release from the government said.

At a press conference in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the actions lacked common sense.

WATCH: Trudeau calls new tariffs on steel, aluminum ‘totally unacceptable,’

“Americans remain our partners, our allies and our friends,” Trudeau said. “This is not about the American people. We have to believe that at some point common sense will prevail, but we see no sign of that with this action today by the U.S. administration”

Mexico and Canada released lists — and the EU updated one created in March —  of items they intend to slap tariffs on in retaliation to the ones set by U.S.

These are the items Canada will add duties on, starting July 1:

Canada released two lists of items it will place tariffs on, some highlights are below. A full list can be found here. 

The country will add tariffs of 25 per cent or similar “trade-restrictive measures” to the following items:

  • Flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel
  • Flat-rolled products of stainless steel
  • Tubes, pipes and hollow profiles of iron
  • Railway or tramway track construction material

And a 10 per cent surtax or similar “trade-restrictive measures” will be added to these items:

  • Yogurt, strawberry jam
  • Roasted coffee
  • Chocolate, white chocolate, confectionery sugar
  • Sleeping bags
  • Soya sauce, ketchup, mustard
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Insecticides
  • Kitchenware
  • Plywood
  • Lawn mowers
  • Inflatable boats, sailboats, motorboats
  • Mattresses

WATCH: Trudeau calls new tariffs ‘an affront’ to the Canada-U.S. relationship

These are the items Mexico says it will add duties on:

  • Flat steel (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes)
  • Lamps
  • Pork legs and shoulders,
  • Sausages and other prepared food
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Various cheeses

Mexico added that tariffs on other items may also be incoming, but the country is open to dialogue to solve the situation.

“Mexico reiterates its openness to constructive dialogue with the U.S., its support for the international trading system and its rejection of unilateral protectionist measures,” the statement read.

WATCH: Canada to impose ‘dollar-for-dollar’ retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.

These are the items the EU is threatening to add duties on:

The EU’s list of tariffs is notably longer than the ones Mexico and Canada released, and spans 10 pages. A full list can be found here. 

Here are some notable items:

  • Several common food products, including kidney beans, rice, cereal, peanut butter, etc.
  • Orange juice
  • Whiskey
  • Cigarettes and tobacco
  • Makeup and skincare products
  • Clothing such as t-shirts, jeans, cotton items
  • Several types of steel
  • Cooking appliances and other kitchen products
  • Rowing boats, canoes, yachts
  • Paper towels, toilet paper, tampons, diapers
  • Several types of shoes
  • Playing cards
  • Motorcycles

Meanwhile, Ross said in an interview with CNBC Thursday that any retaliation the U.S. faces from other countries won’t have a significant effect on its economy.

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