By Bartholomew Madukwe
U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to hold firm tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his “America First” agenda, until U.S. goods had “fair” access to markets.
TRUMP CALL FOR RUSSIA’S READMISSION TO G7
Trump, at a G7 Summit in Canada, also suggested that Russia be re-admitted to the group. Russia was suspended from the group in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine; and G7 members are the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan.
U.S. TARIFFS ON FOREIGN STEEL, ALUMINUM
According to Trump, the United States wanted a quick end to trade practices, which have led to an exodus of American companies and jobs to other countries, reports Reuters.
Trump’s imposition of tariffs on imports of foreign steel and aluminum was not welcomed by his allies. Summit host- Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, with his European and Japanese colleagues expressed their dissatisfaction against the US leader and his “illegal” levies on steel and aluminum imports.
Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, expressed outrage that Trump had invoked a national security justification for his global tariffs, even on imports from close US allies.
She said: “We are very clear that Canada does not pose a national security threat to the United States. So this is an illegal act. It is absolutely unjustified. We have already raised cases at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and at North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and we will retaliate”.
NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994.
It was gathered that French President, Emmanuel Macron, presented the European side of the story, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chimed in as well.
On Saturday, Trump arrived late for the first working session on gender equality but Canadian Prime Minister forged ahead with opening remarks without him, commenting wryly about “stragglers.”
Trump planned to leave the summit on Saturday before it discussed climate change and the health of oceans, underlining fractures in the G7 exacerbated by the tariffs.
Trump is due to fly to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which he described as a “mission of peace.”