The United States imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union on Thursday May 31, a date that will be remembered throughout history for such a decision by the U.S president.
The tariff decision was made official this Thursday morning, and the European Union will retaliate in due course.
Metal producers in the countries affected had been granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs earlier this year, but they are due to expire Friday June 1.
“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries. By people representing us who didn’t have a clue,” Trump said, arguing that trade trends “destroyed” American steel and aluminum industries.
On Wednesday, a trade delegation led by U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, met with European Union counterparts in Paris but those talks appear to have failed.
Prior to the expected announcement, the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said Thursday that Europe would take “all necessary measures” to respond. The EU has previously said it will impose its own tariffs on U.S. products such as motorcycles and jeans.
That message has been reinforced by the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz who said in an interview with Reuters Thursday that the EU’s response to the tariffs must be “clear, strong, and smart.”
When asked if there were any signs that the trade dispute could be resolved Scholz added: “No, there are no such signs.”