Trump issues warning to trade partners over retaliatory tariffs

President Donald Trump warned trading partners not to retaliate against U.S. duties on steel and aluminum imports, before departing from the Group of Seven summit in Quebec on Saturday.

“If they retaliate, they’re making a mistake,” Trump told reporters in a short but stern remark.

The president met with leaders from Canada, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Japan in Quebec, where trade talks dominated the summit. Trump has asked countries to end tariffs and trade barriers in his push for “fair and reciprocal” trade.

Trump’s administration last week ended a two-month exemption to steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union. Mexico slapped a 25% import tariff on U.S. steel products, as well as 20% on pork products, 25% on bourbon and duties on other agricultural goods including cranberries. Canada issued its own threat of tariffs, which don’t go into effect until July.

Meanwhile, the European Union – the world’s largest trading bloc – announced last week it would impose retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. beginning in July, over Washington’s duties on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

The EU said it will impose the “rebalancing” tariffs on about $3.3 billion (2.8 billion euros) worth of U.S. steel, bourbon, agricultural products including sweet corn, orange juice, cranberries and certain clothing made of cotton.