US Tariffs Raise Fears of Trade War with American Allies
The United States says it will require tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada.
U.S. officials announced the tariffs are a result of their failure to win trade concessions. Officials said the import taxes would take effect on Friday.
The announcement led to promises of action from major American allies, rising trade tensions and a drop in stock prices.
President Donald Trump had announced the tariffs in March. Trump said they were needed to protect the United States from unfair competition. But he delayed the measure to give time for negotiations.
The tariffs will be 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
Europe and Mexico reacted to the U.S. move with their own lists of tariffs on American products, raising fears of a trade war among allies.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, called the U.S. decision "protectionism, pure and simple."
Last March, the European Union prepared a list of possible tariffs on American goods, including orange juice, peanut butter, clothing, whiskey, boats and motorcycles.
Mexico said it would tax a number of U.S. imports, including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheeses and flat steel.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the U.S. tariffs "totally unacceptable."
Trudeau said Canada supplied "aluminum and steel to the U.S. defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks." He promised to add Canadian tariffs on a number of American goods.
Brazil, Argentina and Australia have agreed to limit steel shipments to the U.S. to avoid tariffs. But import taxes remain on steel and aluminum imports from Japan.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross spoke to reporters on Thursday. He said that talks with Canada and Mexico over amending the North American Free Trade Agreement were "taking longer than we had hoped."
Speaking from a meeting in Paris, Ross noted that talks with Europe had "made some progress," but not enough for the U.S. He said, "We continue to be quite willing and indeed eager to have further discussions."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed opposition to the rising trade tensions before the U.S. announcement. She said the tariffs were in violation of the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
After the U.S. action, the European Union announced plans to bring its case against the U.S. tariffs to the WTO on Friday.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized the tariffs. He said they "will only lead to the victory of those who want less growth, those who don't think we can develop our economies across the world."
Even some of Trump's supporters criticized the measures.
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch said, "Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans." He added that it would hurt both workers and businesses. Like Trump, Hatch is a member of the Republican Party.
The groups Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity said the tariffs would hurt the nation's economy and low unemployment rates.
U.S. presidential spokesman Raj Shah told Fox News: "The president's actions are about protecting American steel, American aluminum. They're critical for national security."
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.unemployment rates 失业率
He drew attention to the rising unemployment rates.
2.national security 国家安全
He was not seen as a risk to national security.
3.trade concessions 贸易让步
Brussels isn't likely to make the trade concessions anyway.
4.in violation of 违反
They blockaded the Suez Canal in violation of international agreement.
5.Officials said the import taxes would take effect on Friday.
take effect 生效；起作用
International sanctions were beginning to take effect.
The prescribed medicine failed to take effect.
6.They're critical for national security."
be critical for 对...至关重要
Effective communication is critical for success.
The ability of the state to resolve such issues is critical for growth prospects.
3月份，特朗普总统宣布了这些关税措施。特朗普声称，他们是为了保护美国免受不公平竞争的影响 。但是他推迟了这项措施的谈判时间 。
在美国宣布征收关税前，德国总理默克尔（Angela Merkel）对日益加剧的贸易紧张局势表示了反对。她说，这些关税违反了世贸组织（WTO）的规定 。
法国财政部长勒梅尔（Bruno Le Maire）也指责了这些关税。他说，这些措施只会让那些希望经济增长放缓以及认为我们无法在全球发展经济的人得逞 。
美国参议员奥林·哈奇（Orrin Hatch）表示：“对钢铁和铝征收关税其实是增加美国人民的赋税。”他补充说，这会对企业和员工造成伤害 。与特朗普一样，哈奇也是共和党一员 。