Trade War Tensions Flare Up: Must-Watch ETFs & Stocks

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump shakes hand during a presse conference in the East Room at White House Washington DC

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump shakes hand during a press conference at White House Eliot Blondet

President Emmanuel Macron of France said Friday that he told Trump in a phone call that the new USA tariffs on European, Mexican, and Canadian goods were illegal and a "mistake".

"I'm sure that the president looks forward to coming to Canada and meeting all the other leaders with many, many important issues going on throughout the world".

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "The president has said that he believes he could win a trade war, we think that a trade war is in nobody's interests".

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Sunday, a U.S. government official said, as officials from the world's two biggest economies try to calm an escalating trade spat that has rattled financial markets.

Canada responded with duties of 25% on U.S. steel and aluminium, and 10% on consumer goods such as ketchup, orange juice, sailboats and washing machines, which will take effect July 1. The EU is also planning a legal challenge via the WTO.

The complaint against the USA has been planned since March when Trump first announced plans to hit Europe and other allies with the metals tariff.

"I want to make it clear. that it is up to the U.S. administration to make the right decisions to alleviate the situation and ease the difficulties", said Le Maire at the end of talks.

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS Canada, Mexico and the European Union retaliated against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium with levies on billions of dollars of United States goods - from orange juice and whiskey to blue jeans and Harley Davidson bikes. Earlier this week, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Reuters that the EU's response to the tariffs must be "clear, strong, and smart".

The EU's trade chief, Cecilia Malmstrom, said that the US decision to impose tariffs "is further weakening the Trans-Atlantic relations".

China's exports have mushroomed since joining the World Trade Organisation in 2001, making it the world's second-largest economy.

"When they say America First, we say Europe United", she said. "From the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan, we have fought and died together", Trudeau said in a Thursday speech.

The Prime Minister said she was "disappointed" at the decision to impose a 25% duty on European steel and a 10% duty on European aluminium, which both came into effect on Friday. The countries had been granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs introduced by the White House on March 1.

Justifying US steel tariffs based on national security concerns is "grotesque", according to Germany's steel industry association.

"It is not every day that a Canadian head of government pointedly notes that he is dealing with a United States administration that is short on common sense" or "that a prime minister uses a news conference to dig in his heels in a trade negotiation", she noted.

"The US measures are a protectionist intervention in global trade and run counter to the principles of the World Trade Organization", the body said in a statement, сalling for a swift WTO decision on challenges to the tariffs. Canada's already announced it'll hit U.S. imports worth nearly 13 billion dollars.

"Trudeau uttered some of the harshest words a prime minister has directed at an American administration in decades", said Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hebert, calling this a "watershed moment in the Donald Trump-era Canada/US relationship".

President Trump said the USA had been unfairly treated in trade with its neighboring and oversees partners. "The US economy will suffer as much as any other economy". The US President has threatened to respond to any new EU trade barriers with a tax on cars produced by European automakers.

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