Donald Trump and Theresa May clash over looming trade war

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China, which is one of the major targets for Trump's safeguard actions based on an archaic provision concerning national security, has issued a measured statement on Sunday saying "China doesn't want a trade war with the US but we will not sit idly should Chinese interests be damaged".

In a speech Friday night at Harvard University, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said the EU will respond to the tariffs "to defend European industry, and the world trading system", according to a copy of her remarks.

Notably, vans and pickups built in Europe and exported to the U.S. are subjected to a 25 percent tariff that dates back to a trade war between European countries and the U.S. during Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency. Navarro insisted that the "downstream price effects on our industries" due to the tariffs would be "insignificant".

Mr Juncker said: "We would like a reasonable relationship to the United States, but we cannot simply put our head in the sand".

"We need to wait until the air clears a little bit, with more information coming out of the minister's office or from the Department of Trade, hopefully over the next week", Dixon told Guardian Australia.

Asian steelmakers also worry that US tariffs could result in their domestic markets being flooded with steel products that have nowhere else to go. Dudenhöffer cited figures showing that Fiat Chrysler imported more than 45 percent of its total cars sold in 2017, while General Motors imported some 25 percent.

The tariffs are part of Trump's plan to counter what he says are decades of unfair trade practices and ill-advised trade agreements that have robbed the US of revenue and jobs. Canadian officials immediately started working to secure an exemption from the tariffs, and have said they will retaliate if they are forced to pay higher tariffs. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) agree China is an economic aggressor, he argued Trump's tariffs will do nothing to rein them in.

Unite national officer for steel Tony Brady said: "US tariffs on UK steel would be devastating for the British steel industry and the thousands of workers who have battled for its survival, alongside their trade unions".

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May talks to Andrew Marr for the Marr Show on BBC television in London March 2, 2018.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told ABC Mr. Trump is "talking about a fairly broad brush" with "no country exclusions" on the tariffs.

"We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals", Trump tweeted on Monday. In the case of the last two, US profits could plummet by up to 50 percent.

"Certainly I would argue that our Government is the quiet church mouse when it comes to some of the other nations who are literally calling in ambassadors and threatening the US at a public level". "High tariffs on imports don't help create jobs in the U.S. - whether in manufacturing, supply chain logistics or elsewhere".

But the general response from Trump officials was that everyone should prepare for tariffs.

While promising to act "firmly", the European Union, which sees itself as a global counterweight to a protectionist-leaning Trump, made no mention of retaliation but spoke of counter-measures that confirm with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

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