Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Mnuchin urged Trump to exempt Canada from steel and aluminum tariffs

Mnuchin urged Trump to exempt Canada from steel and aluminum tariffs

In a bid to rebuild America's industry, Trump has imposed hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including those from key G7 allies like Canada, Japan and the European Union. Canadian broadcaster CBC also confirmed that the conversation took place.

The White House was, in fact, burned down by British colonial forces in August 1814 in response to an USA attack on York, Ontario, a year earlier. Canada did not become a nation until 1867.

In 2017, Mexico imported a total of the $10.5 billion worth of steel products, of which the US accounted for 36 percent, or nearly $3.8 billion, according to USA government data.

In retaliation for the US tariffs, Canada has proposed a $16.6-billion tariff package on common Canadian imports from the United States, including beer kegs, appliances and decorative candles. They said was an essential forum for finding common ground and resolving differences.

President Trump is trying to rewrite the terms and conditions of the worldwide order specifically with regard to trade, security, and global agreements and organisations, by "leveraging the dollar, market access, and military advantages", said Dr Inderjeet Parmar professor of professor of global politics at the City, University of London.

"Throughout these talks, the USA has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the European Union", she said.

The two sides are also deadlocked on negotiations over the future of their North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico. Europe and Canada will press the President to allow them to continue to co-operate with Iran, so that it maintains its promise not to build nuclear weapons.

Whether or not Trump attends the G7 meeting, the spectre of the president's belligerent trade policy will linger over the gathering.

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Trump was referring to the War of 1812, which was fought in part over the control of Canada.

Macron expressed support for Trump in his expected summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but also warned that the USA president's abrogation last month of a 2015 multilateral deal on the Iranian nuclear programme, cast doubt on the credibility of such agreements.

The G7 summit on Friday and Saturday in La Malbaie, a small town 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Quebec City, will bring together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

"Look on the bright side: At least [Trump] knows what the War of 1812 is and that during it, someone burnt down something", one user wrote.

Asked about the state of US-Canada relations, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow acknowledged some short-term tensions, but said he believes relations between the two countries remain "very good".

What administration officials have insisted is only a "trade dispute" appears closer to becoming a trade war.

Mr. Macron said the leaders don't want to put out a communiqué if "we drain it of all meaning".

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