United States’ closest allies attacked the Trump administration for imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and mounted challenges with the world’s top trade body, fouling the mood at a G7 finance leaders meeting. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was the prime target of the criticism at the meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors in Canada, with the six other G7 member countries subject to the US metals tariffs, which were imposed on national security grounds.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, whose country’s steel and aluminum producers have been paying the US metals tariffs since March 23, called the US action deeply deplorable. Mr Aso told reporters that “This doesn’t happen that often at G7 meetings, but it was US against everyone else.”
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also said Mnuchin was clearly isolated at on the tariff issue, with the group devolved to a “G6 plus one” with the six expressing “total incomprehension” over the destabilizing US move.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that the tariffs were imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding US national security.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters “We must find a way to get out of this. That was said clearly by everyone and I think it was even taken on board” by Mnuchin.”
Source : REUTERS
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