France gives USA 'a few days' to avoid trade war

THE CANADIAN PRESS  Jeff Mc Intosh                       Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks to the media in Calgary Alta

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said that direct discussions between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump may help resolve the issue, though Japan has refused to accept import quotas.

Washington's new trade tariffs on its allies and its threat to sanction companies doing business with Iran have alienated America's main trade partners. In addition, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada will challenge the Trump tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

All three have said they will strike back with tariffs on United States exports and suggested they may coordinate their actions in a bid to bring the U.S. administration back to negotiations. Mexico said it would retaliate with "equivalent" measures against United States products, including pork legs, apples, grapes, cheese, steel and other goods.

United States unemployment fell to an 18-year low and employers added a net 223,000 new jobs, beating forecasts and delighting Trump, who has taken credit for the economy's performance. This morning, I called the Opposition leaders to notify them of our response.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who chaired the Whistler meetings, said even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to convince Trump to move back from the tariffs.

Mr. Mnuchin said the US continues to believe in the importance of the G7 and noted that all seven nations were on the same page on most other issues on the agenda in Whistler.

"I think there was a comment out there that (this was) the G6 plus one". It was not. It's the G7.




Trump, Trudeau, and several other world leaders are scheduled to meet next week in Canada at the G-7 meeting.

The EU is preparing to hit back at the US with tariffs of its own against American products. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom added that the USA, through months of negotiations, threatened steep tariffs in order to obtain trade concessions from the EU.

At first sight the list of American products targeted by Canadian retaliatory tariffs that will come into effect on July 1 seems rather eclectic.

France's Bruno Le Maire, the finance and economy minister, was more blunt in his assessment of the Whistler meetings, where ministers confronted Mnuchin.

"The ball is in the camp of the United States, it is up to the American administration to take the right decisions to smooth the situation and to alleviate the difficulties", he added, as cited by Reuters.

However, that is not to say that trade tensions won't intensify further in the coming days and weeks.

Officials at the G-7 meeting have expressed frustration over the USA decision to take unilateral action amid ongoing trade negotiations. "A trade war is not in the interest of the G7 countries, not in the interest of the United States of America and not in the interest of the European Union countries, but everything is ready".

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