Six allies condemn Trump tariffs

Finance ministers from six of the world's largest economies in a rare step expressed "disappointment" over President ...

Posted: Jun 3, 2018 1:24 PM
Updated: Jun 3, 2018 1:24 PM

Finance ministers from six of the world's largest economies in a rare step expressed "disappointment" over President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum on its allies.

Top officials from the Group of Seven -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom -- asked US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to convey their "unanimous concern and disappointment" to the US president, suggesting his recent trade actions could incite uncertainty, dampening the goal of economic growth.

"There was an important difference of opinion," Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters at the closing press conference of the G7 summit in the resort ski town of Whistler, Canada, on Saturday. "The Americans have decided -- in our mind -- to take an action that is not at all constructive. It's actually destructive in our ability to get something done around tariffs on steel and aluminum."

In a joint statement, the six finance ministers, without the support of the United States, called for "decisive action" following the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico this week. Each country has announced its own plans to retaliate against the United States.

Trump hits allies with metal tariffs; Mexico, EU and Canada vow to retaliate

Mnuchin told reporters at a separate press conference that he has already briefed the president on trade concerns aired during his bilateral meetings with counterparts from Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany. He said he would also speak with the president again when he returns to Washington.

"President Trump has been very clear in wanting to address trade issues," Mnuchin said. "Our objective is to make sure we have fair and balanced trade and that's what we're really focused on."

Just before the G7 summit ended, Trump tweeted that "the United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on trade."

Canadian finance minister: Trump tariff rationale 'absurd'

"If we charge a country ZERO to sell their goods, and they charge us 25, 50 or even 100 percent to sell ours, it is UNFAIR and can no longer be tolerated. That is not Free or Fair Trade, it is Stupid Trade!" the president said on Twitter.

A few hours later, Trump took to Twitter again, suggesting that the US has been taken advantage of by it allies. "When you're almost 800 Billion Dollars a year down on Trade, you can't lose a Trade War! The U.S. has been ripped off by other countries for years on Trade, time to get smart!"

The 25 percent import tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum went into effect Friday.

The summit was supposed to be an opportunity to tout successes of the global economy, but trade disputes cast a dark shadow over the gathering.

Mnuchin faced an earful of complaints at the meeting as G7 officials vocalized frustration over the US action, which was seen as alienating historical trading partners.

The secretary spent his first few hours in Whistler behind closed doors in meeting with foreign finance ministers.

Trump is starting a global trade war

Morneau warned ahead of his bilateral meeting on Thursday that he'd "clearly" express his disappointment to Mnuchin for the US' protectionist decision.

"We will be divided -- it will not a G-7, it will be a G-6 plus one," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "It is dangerous for growth, dangerous for the economic development of the world, and dangerous for our jobs in the EU."

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso also told reporters on Friday he almost 'felt sorry' for Mnuchin given the heft of complaints on trade.

"He's not directly in charge of the metal tariffs, so in that sense it was very tough for him," Aso told reporters. "I felt sorry for him, but I guess it's not the sort of issue I should sympathize with."

Mnuchin tried to dampen any characterization concerning his isolation among the group and stressed shared consensus on "many, many areas."

"This was the G7," said Mnuchin. "I think there was a comment out there that it was the G6 plus one. It was not. It was the G7. We believe in the G7. It's an important group."

Friction in Whistler could telegraph what may be an even tenser meeting when the leaders of the G7, including Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, hold talks next week in Quebec.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296154

Reported Deaths: 6764
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19700230
Hinds18851392
Harrison16736281
Rankin12757265
Jackson12623228
Lee9694161
Madison9480203
Jones7990147
Forrest7234138
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Washington5220130
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Monroe3990127
Union396174
Neshoba3817169
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Hancock348975
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Tate303174
Pike301296
Scott294570
Alcorn292263
Yazoo290565
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Marion252778
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Attala206669
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Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie171239
Clarke169371
Calhoun158028
Smith153033
Yalobusha145036
Greene127833
Walthall124340
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry122135
Lawrence120321
Carroll118625
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Webster110832
Jefferson Davis102231
Tunica99323
Claiborne98829
Benton93824
Humphreys92927
Kemper90323
Quitman77414
Franklin76119
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 497154

Reported Deaths: 10029
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson714001387
Mobile36252736
Madison32573462
Tuscaloosa24289414
Montgomery22708519
Shelby22112215
Baldwin19856285
Lee15021155
Calhoun13755288
Morgan13742252
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Marshall11439210
Houston10110262
Elmore9451185
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Cullman8979182
Lauderdale8610212
DeKalb8486175
Talladega7582165
Walker6571259
Jackson6542103
Autauga631391
Blount6229127
Colbert5998120
Coffee5259103
Dale4657107
Russell406433
Franklin399778
Covington3989106
Chilton3891100
Escambia378772
Tallapoosa3613143
Clarke343953
Chambers3423111
Dallas3419142
Pike293372
Marion288895
Lawrence284683
Winston258668
Bibb245960
Geneva240270
Marengo238357
Pickens225055
Barbour212951
Hale211969
Fayette201357
Butler201166
Henry182941
Cherokee177739
Monroe166639
Randolph164640
Washington156635
Macon147243
Crenshaw146254
Clay145554
Cleburne139741
Lamar133733
Lowndes132551
Wilcox122525
Bullock117236
Conecuh107024
Perry105927
Sumter99432
Coosa89624
Greene88532
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