These U.S. industries could feel the bite of a trade war

Trudeau says he doesn't know what Trump wants from Canada in order to eliminate the tariffs, but that it is insulting and unacceptable to tell Canadian soldiers who fought alongside Americans for decades that Canada poses any sort of security threat to the U.S.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau questioned the reasons behind the new USA tariffs on Canadian goods, saying he was "having a lot of trouble" understanding the idea that the United States viewed his nation as a national security threat.

Canada, Mexico and Europe had been exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions will expire as scheduled on Friday. Those values are roughly equal to that of the Canadian steel and aluminum exports to the US.

But with no more talks scheduled, the path to a new trade deal with the US and Mexico now appears to be a drawn-out process, officials concede. In addition to the costs to exporters of consumer goods like pickles and chocolate, the steel tariffs will hurt American automakers by pumping up the cost of steel.

But after totaling the value of Canada's list of USA goods subject to tariffs using import data, Business Insider found that the value of these exports is equal to roughly just over $15 billion U.S. dollars, or 19 billion Canadian dollars.

The trade tariffs have also been criticized by some Republicans, CNN reported, with some members of the GOP having lobbied for the administration to impose tariffs on China as opposed to Mexico, Canada and the European Union. "I think that we've had a massive effort on tax reform in the U.S. which has had a incredible impact on the United States economy", Mnuchin said.

In a statement published via Xinhua, a government-controlled news agency, China gave a stark warning it would cancel an earlier agreement to buy more American goods in retaliation. "I intend to keep working with the president on those better options", he added. Others say this is a protectionist approach, violates free trade and will ultimately lead to an all-out trade war.

Whether in a real war or in a trade war, waving the flag is politically popular in a way that is hard to understand to those who live through the ultimate consequences.

Freeland said Canada's reciprocal tariffs, outlined last week, were "the strongest trade action Canada has taken since the second world war". "We are anxious to see this get resolved as quickly as possible".

Kudlow acknowleged that the dispute over trade could jeopardise a United States economy that is now "clicking on all cylinders", with surging growth and low unemployment.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow is interviewed at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., April 6, 2018.

What is worrying for the Trump administration is the fact that Canada, Mexico, the European Union and China are all retaliating and ceding very little ground.

In the NBC interview, Trudeau said Canada would be "lodging complaints against these unfair trade practices".

Carl Fey: If the WTO comes out and says these actions are not legitimate then it's sort of hard to imagine the U.S. is not going to listen to a WTO ruling.

Speaking separately after the meeting, frequently referred to as the "G6 plus one", Mnuchin told reporters that he was not part of the six-country consensus on trade and said Trump was focussed on "rebalancing our trade relationships".