Trump says commerce secretary will talk tariffs with EU

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The White House said in a statement Monday evening that Trudeau and Trump had spoken by phone regarding the steel and aluminum tariff announcement from last week. The steel tariff investigation was launched to see the impact of steel imports on US national security.

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters: "We are anxious (about) the possibility of having a trade war between the United States and the European Union because we believe that there will be only losers. We believe that protectionism is a dead end", French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters.

It was their first conversation since Trump last week imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, raising trade tensions.

The steel and aluminum industries did not need these tariffs to be more competitive globally, because they were already made more competitive thanks to the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The proclamation instead pointed to economic integration between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the fact the U.S. also exports steel to both Canada and Mexico, and the three countries' shared commitment to national security and addressing global excess capacity in steel production. It has threatened to slap retaliatory duties on around 2.8 billion euro (£2.4 billion) worth of U.S. steel, agricultural and other products like peanut butter and orange juice if it is not excluded from the tariff regime.

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said the tariffs are "a bad idea". Mexican federal elections scheduled for July 1 and USA congressional elections in the fall are adding pressure, as changes of government as a result of either could affect both getting a deal and getting it ratified.

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The Turkish leader also reiterated his earlier statements, that his only goal in Syria was the "fight against terrorism".

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said that in some places, trade has been blamed "for the pains of globalisation, or they used it as a scapegoat or they think we can live behind walls and borders".

Malmstroem said she told Lighthizer that "the European Union must be excluded" from tariffs because it is a close USA ally.

Mr. Trudeau also took Canada's case to USA cable channels on Monday with appearances on MSNBC and CNN.

"Dialogue is always the prime option for the EU", European Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio said at a news briefing on Monday.

The steel tariff threat was seen by many to be an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks - giving in to other USA demands or giving up some of their own -rather than risk the punishing steel and aluminum duties.

Asked again about Trump's approach, if the tariffs are a negotiating tactic by Trump, Trudeau again moved past the potential threat. Brussels insists that the real problem is a glut of steel on worldwide markets.