Steel and aluminum from three of America’s closest allies and trading partners will now carry tariffs, the White House announced.
After months of negotiations, the Trump administration said Thursday it was unable to come to agreement with the European Union, Mexico or Canada that would allow it to grant a permanent exemption to the steel and aluminum tariffs President Donald Trump announced in March.
A 25 percent tax on imported steel and 10 percent duty on imported aluminum from the countries will take effect tomorrow.
EU officials said the tariffs impact $7.5 billion worth of trade. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, which represented the EU in the trade talks, said the 28-nation bloc will not be bullied.
“This is protectionism, pure and simple,” he said. “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. Overcapacity remains at the heart of the problem and the EU is not the source of but on the contrary equally hurt by it. … We have also consistently indicated our openness to discussing ways to improve bilateral trade relations with the U.S. but have made it clear that the EU will not negotiate under threat.”
Juncker said the EU would soon enact retaliatory tariffs on a range of popular U.S. products, including HVAC equipment.
In recent weeks, the White House had been using the tariffs as a bargaining chip in its efforts to amend the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. The efforts so far have failed.