President Trump on Thursday slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, moving to punish what he said was unfair competition that has sapped the U.S. economy, but seemingly laying the ground for trade war.
Just hours after announcing the tariffs — 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum — Mr. Trump delivered an ultimatum on the ongoing negotiations for updating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Unless Canada makes concessions, he said, the deal will be scrapped.
“The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade. Those days are over,” Mr. Trump said in a defiant statement. “Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United State will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.”
That tough talk came after U.S. markets had closed for the day on the tariff news, and analysts were anxious about how they would react to what appeared to be the groundwork for an all-out trade war.
Mr. Trudeau didn’t shy away from the notion.
“We’re ready for anything,” he told reporters in the afternoon, reacting to the tariffs.