The Trump administration moved to impose metal tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, three of America's biggest trading partners.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent levy on aluminum imports from its allies would come into effect on Friday.
“We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved,” Ross told reporters.
Mexico, the EU and Canada immediately announced plans to retaliate with their own tariffs against American products.
"Today is a bad day for world trade," EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a statement. "We did everything to avoid this outcome." Malmstrom, who tried to persuade the Trump administration to permanently exempt the 28-nation EU from the new tariffs added.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "These tariffs are totally unacceptable." Canadian officials said at a press conference that Canada would enact tariffs on $12.8 billion in US exports, effective July 1, to retaliate against Trump's action.
U.S. President Donald Trump originally announced worldwide steel and aluminum tariffs on March 1, as part of an effort to protect U.S. industry and workers from what he described as unfair international competition but granted exemptions to some major trading partners.
The United States is also exploring the possibility of putting new tariffs on cars.
SPAIN Basque Party to Vote Against Rajoy in No-Confidence Motion
Spanish media are reporting that leaders of the EAJ (Basque Nationalist Party) will back a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Rajoy has the option of resigning before the vote, expected to take place Friday lunchtime.
The five votes of the Basque Nationalist Party are seen as key for the leader of the opposition, PSOE's Pedro Sánchez to win the vote in the lower house of the Spanish parliament. An absolute majority of 176 votes are required in the 350-seat chamber. Information from various parties suggested he had now secured 180.
With reporting by news agencies