Mexico Hits US With Retaliatory Tariffs

U.S. President Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau at the White House in Washington

Washington apple farmers brace for impact after Mexico imposes tariffs on U.S. imports

In a telephone call on May 25, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked U.S. President Donald Trump how he could possibly consider Canada a threat to America's national security - the ostensible reason for looming tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. And the concerted resistance to Trump's tariffs is also undermining his favored approach of bilateral negotiations with countries to secure specific concessions in exchange for relief from the threatened levies.

It wasn't immediately clear how such an arrangement would work. On Tuesday, the White House said President Donald Trump is serious about pursuing separate agreements with Canada and Mexico to end the trilateral deal. Changes would have to be agreed by all sides. The Commerce Department said foreign production of steel and aluminum was driving down prices and hurting USA producers, creating a "national security threat".

Mexico plans to tax about $3 billion worth of US goods, including whiskey, cheese and pork. Mexico tailored the list of retaliatory duties to hit states governed by senior Republicans, such as the bourbon produced in the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky.

"Now I know this is just three countries, but still, you know, oftentimes, when you have to compromise with a whole bunch of countries, you get the worst of the deals". Mexico "takes Reds, Goldens, Galas", Fryhover said, referring to different apple varieties.

USA stocks, apart from those of steel and aluminum producers, have fallen sharply in response to Trump's recent tariff announcements and other actions against trading partners.

It's unclear whether Trump was joking or falsely believed Canada was responsible for burning down the official home of the U.S. President more than two centuries ago. Trump ended that temporary relief this month, seeking to pressure the other countries to cut new trade agreements with the U.S. Japan was never granted a waiver, despite Prime Mininster Shinzo Abe's pleas. When then-prime minister Stephen Harper in 2011 said USA approval of the Keystone XL pipeline - which then-president Barack Obama was refusing to do - was a "no-brainer", the White House considered the remark beyond the pale.

Mexico and the USA had total trade of about $557 billion in 2017, with a balance of $71 billion in the favor of Mexico.

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"The president wants to go on the trip", Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told reporters.

"Two hundred years ago, the United States invaded our territory", a narrator ominously said in one government ad.

"The Canadians made an impassioned personal plea to Mnuchin to take the case up with Trump", an administration official said.

Trump's words and acts are expected to make for an awkward G7 summit Friday and Saturday in Quebec.

Kudlow, in his remarks, denied the United States was engaged in a trade war with its strategic partners, as well as China, but said that the United States would do what was necessary to protect American workers and industries. He is not going to withdraw from NAFTA.

Kudlow insisted Wednesday the NAFTA talks are still ongoing, but he wouldn't say whether a deal could be reached this year.

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