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US kicks off possible trade war

Washington, June 1: The United States Department of Commerce on Thursday announced that a temporary exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico would be allowed to expire, a decision that is likely to further exacerbate trade tensions and trigger retaliatory measures.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters in a conference call that the US had decided to no longer exempt the EU, Canada and Mexico from a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, duties that have already been imposed on countries including China, Japan and Russia, Efe reported.

The latest exemption from the global tariffs, which US President Donald Trump had announced on March 8 in fulfilment of a key campaign promise, had been due to expire on June 1.

Steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico will be subject to the US tariffs starting Friday. Mexico, meanwhile, announced Thursday that it would take retaliatory measures. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita