Canada's Justin Trudeau accuses China of 'dumping' steel on global markets

Justin Trudeau Leo Varadkar

With his March 1 announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports March 1, detailed in a White House ceremony Thursday, President Donald Trump had eschewed advice from a broad range of experts to make a provocative nationalist gesture that will likely do more harm than good for those it's supposed to help.

The bloc says that it's a close ally of the US and therefore any import levies on national security grounds are unjustified. The number one tactic he employed was to think big.

Mr. Trudeau said that the consequences of putting tariffs on steel and aluminum in Canada "would mean pain for workers here in Canada but also job losses and difficulties for workers and their families in the United States", he said. We also know they face real challenges, including concerns around global overcapacity and our integrated North American market.

China's aluminium output is a fraction of steel's size at about 36 million tonnes past year.

Trump points out how this has created America's huge trade gap with foreign countries.

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said the tariffs are "a bad idea".

The California Steel Industries building seen in this 2013 file photo was remodeled into a pipe mill (File photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG).

Joseph Galimberti says Canada has to work very quickly to identify possible attempts to circumvent the USA tariffs by sneaking steel in through Canada and it must be prepared to stop it. The entire economy has been restructured around the US market.

Eighty percent of the economists predicted a small increase in inflation from the trade policy, while the remainder saw no effect. All told, 11 nations impose tariffs on America's Harley-Davidson motorcycles with engines over 800cc: India at 100 percent; China at 60 percent; and Thailand at 30 percent.

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Many traditionally pro-trade Republican lawmakers in the United States also fiercely oppose the tariffs, saying they might help steel and aluminium makers, but would mean higher prices on many other products.

In short, compared with decades past, the USA metals industry can now do more with less.

"We expect the impact on USA growth and inflation to be fairly limited", said Mikael Olai Milhoj, a senior analyst at Danske Bank in Copenhagen. We should continue to pursue free trade as a policy, not as a theology that prevents us from acknowledging that there is such a thing as unfair trade.

A full-blown trade war could cost the global economy $470 billion, an analysis by Bloomberg Economics found.

While contemplating retaliatory action of its own, the Justin Trudeau government has also warned about how the Trump tariffs will disrupt commercial activity on both sides of the border.

What happens to global growth if there's a trade war? So Europe can continue with its higher tariffs on USA cars, so long as it does the same to Japanese cars. To put that into perspective, that's about $470 billion - roughly the size of Thailand's output.

"China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States", Trump tweeted. Yet most trade spats end up without that kind of damage, and most in the survey were hopeful.

Trump makes a strong case that many of our trading partners - most notably, China - are violating trade-agreement rules left and right and stealing American patents and intellectual property. The Canadian Steel Producers Association issued a statement that "welcomed Canada's exemption from the tariffs", and noted that the association continued "to support the dialogue between Canadian and U.S. governments to ensure our integrated markets remain open and that our respective supply chains collectively grow, while continuing to address global excess steel capacity issues".

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