Canadian finance minister: Trump tariff rationale 'absurd'

Canada's finance minister says talks among world economic officials will be difficult this weekend following the US d...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 11:47 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 11:47 AM

Canada's finance minister says talks among world economic officials will be difficult this weekend following the US decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on its closest allies.

"What I expect will be a meeting that will have some challenges," Bill Morneau told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit, a gathering of finance ministers in the Canadian ski resort town of Whistler.

He called the Trump administration's rationale for the tariffs "absurd."

The summit was supposed to be an opportunity to tout successes of the global economy, but trade disputes have cast a shadow over the gathering this weekend.

Related: Here's how Europe is punishing the US for steel tariffs

Canada, the European Union and Mexico all announced plans to retaliate after the Trump administration imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum on Friday.

The Canadian government on Friday took the additional step of requesting consultations with the World Trade Organization on the US "improper use" of national security to impose sweeping tariffs. The EU has filed a similar challenge.

"These unilateral tariffs, imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security, are inconsistent with the United States' international trade obligations and WTO rules," Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement.

Officials at the G-7 meeting have expressed frustration over the US decision to take unilateral action amid ongoing trade negotiations.

Morneau said he expressed Canada's displeasure with the tariffs during an hourlong meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday.

"I did exactly what I said I would do, which is express in strong terms our opposition to these tariffs on the steel and aluminum sector," Morneau told reporters. "Our absolute view is - this is absurd to think that Canada could in any way be a national security risk to the United States."

Related: Trump is starting a global trade war

The Canadian finance chief declined to get into further specifics of the conversation.

Friction in Whistler could telegraph an even tenser meeting next week in Quebec, when the leaders of the G-7 meet, including President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Morneau said the steel and aluminum tariffs would not help ongoing trade talks between the two countries and would only harm both economies.

"It is not helping either of our economies, and it certainly is not going to be a positive discussion around the table later today," Morneau said.

- CNN's Paula Newton contributed to this report.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 61°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 64°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 61°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 66°
Clouds move in today with showers possible this evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1363409

Reported Deaths: 24725
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54578510114
DuPage906281281
Will75577990
Lake67248988
Kane58414774
Winnebago33247475
Madison30525520
McHenry28604288
St. Clair27862514
Peoria23136315
Champaign20649145
Sangamon18762234
McLean18167179
Tazewell16959288
Rock Island14994317
Kankakee14193210
Kendall1306094
LaSalle12553243
Macon10762199
DeKalb9874119
Vermilion9653132
Adams8466123
Williamson7433130
Whiteside7165172
Boone670773
Ogle611481
Grundy589375
Clinton576090
Coles568795
Knox5565145
Jackson502764
Henry498167
Livingston482585
Stephenson475983
Woodford475176
Effingham472972
Macoupin470282
Marion4472115
Franklin445075
Monroe435793
Jefferson4296120
Lee416952
Randolph413184
Fulton392756
Morgan390382
Logan388058
Bureau372082
Montgomery372074
Christian366773
Perry317560
Fayette317455
Iroquois302266
McDonough285647
Jersey268950
Douglas258835
Saline256454
Lawrence240525
Shelby229837
Union226040
Crawford212026
Bond205024
Cass199225
Jo Daviess181524
Clark179833
Warren179846
Pike179152
Ford178647
Wayne177553
Hancock176032
Carroll175436
Richland175040
Edgar170440
White169726
Washington164525
Moultrie161028
De Witt151324
Mason151045
Piatt149814
Clay148143
Mercer147033
Johnson144415
Greene143733
Wabash134512
Massac134340
Cumberland129019
Menard123612
Jasper115018
Marshall107318
Hamilton83315
Schuyler7587
Brown7066
Pulaski6877
Stark63823
Edwards57112
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4823
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL40
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
Wabash354980
Adams341955
Ripley340270
Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417