Major U.S. trading partners have accused President Donald trump of signing new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
China calls this a “serious blow” to the international trading system.
French economy minister Bruno le maier said there were only “losers” in a trade war.
Mr Trump said the us was suffering from “unfair trade” and tariffs would boost us industry.
Import tariffs – 25 per cent of steel and 10 per cent of aluminium – will take effect in 15 days, but Canada and Mexico will be exempted from negotiations under the north American free trade agreement (Nafta).
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Mr. Trump signed the declaration at a White House ceremony attended by American workers.
What is the international response?
The China iron and steel association demanded retaliation, urging the government to target U.S. imports, including coal, agricultural products and electronics.
Japan said the import duties would have a “significant impact” on bilateral relations, while South Korea threatened to refer the issue to the world trade organisation.
Canada, the country’s largest supplier of steel and aluminium, welcomed its release but said it would continue to press Washington to lower tariffs.
Mexico’s economy minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, insisted that tariffs could not be linked to Nafta.
Eu trade commissioner Cecilia malmstrom tweeted that as a close ally of the United States, the group should be excluded from the duties.
In the UK, the government said it would work with eu partners, while the “prudent” support for the UK sector to consider “scope of exemption”.
Australian prime minister Malcolm turnbull said the United States could “not complain” about their bilateral trade relations, and his government would “ruthlessly” pursue exemptions from tariffs.
What about in America?
Mr Trump’s own republican party is strongly opposed, and Mr Trump’s own republican party has traditionally favoured free trade.
The us house of representatives speaker Paul Ryan condemned the new measures and expressed concern about “unintended consequences”.
The chairman of the senate finance committee, senator orrin hatch, said he believed the President had been “misled” by the people who had advised him at the White House.
Another republican senator Jeff, “said, he will draw up a bill to abolish tariffs, and added:” I urge my colleagues before this protectionist actions through it, so as not to cause more damage to the economy.”
But those who support the action of trump including democratic senator Qiao Manji, he said, “the last time to defend our interests and our security and our staff in the global economy”.
Why did Donald trump do this?
In his campaign, Mr. Trump pledged to protect American workers and rebuild steel and aluminum industries.
The President said at a signing ceremony Thursday that the two metals are “the backbone of our country… The cornerstone of our defense industrial base.
Steel tariffs: what impact do they have?
“We are one of the greatest President Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley and others – they protect our country from foreign influence, from other countries to enter and stealing our wealth, and steal our company steal our work,” he said.
“We’re going to be fair, we’re going to be very flexible, but we’re going to protect American workers, as I said I’m going to be in my campaign.”
Reporters say Mr. Trump is trying to appeal to blue-collar voters like Pennsylvania, who rejected democratic support in 2016.
What happens next?
Mr Trump has said the us will “win big” in any trade war.
Some countries may refer the United States to the court, arguing that the decision violates wto rules.
However, the White House said the national security reasons for the move were “impeccable” and that national security considerations were permissible under wto rules.
British steel directors said the tariffs would have a far-reaching negative impact on the UK steel industry.
“It is hard to understand this approach to us Allies in the name of national security,” Gareth Stace added.