The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, has said it is ready to impose safeguards, tariffs or quotas to protect its own steel and aluminum industries from products diverted to Europe because of the USA measures. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers.
His Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, will be in Washington on Tuesday and Thursday to "advance Canada's efforts to keep trade open, fair and barrier-free, to benefit people on both sides of the border", her ministry said in a statement.
"As I said to the congressional leadership, as I said to the president last week: We are always happy to better co-ordinate and to work together to do even more to ensure that we are protecting the North American steel industry". Tariffs artificially raise the prices of steel, causing modifications to tightly integrated global supply chains and companies to be less competitive in global markets. Recent weeks have seen him follow through on those promises, with Trump announcing in early March a 25 per cent tariff on USA steel imports, but with exemptions for Canada and Mexico.
"Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A.", Trump tweeted on Monday. "We will continue working toward securing a definite and permanent exemption from those tariffs", Trudeau said earlier. The statement on the call said Trump had emphasized "quickly concluding" the NAFTA negotiations.
Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said he had expressed Japanese concern to Lighthizer and warned of major market disruption.
The bloc says that it's a close ally of the US and therefore any import levies on national security grounds are unjustified.
REUTERSDonald Trump posted a tweet threatening heavier tariffs on EU car imports
Meanwhile, one USA study has estimated that the tariffs will bring back around 33,500 jobs in steel and aluminium, but ultimately result in a net loss of 146,000 jobs across the whole United States economy.
Higher tariffs on these products would "hurt American families", said Hun Quach, a trade lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
Seko did not go into what conditions might allow Japan to evade tariffs and, asked if Lighthizer had brought up the US trade deficit with Japan, Seko said no.
"You know when it starts but not how it will turn out" when countries engage in mutual retaliation, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in remarks to reporters after a meeting with Brazilian President Michel Temer.
The European Union urged the United States on Wednesday to revive trade talks rather than escalate a dispute over tariffs on metals and cars. "That's why we-if possible-want to avoid a trade war".
Azevedo said Brazil was "exploring alternatives" for responding to the tariffs.