Billionaire Koch brothers take on Trump over tariffs

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The weekend brought no evidence that the world is stepping back from a damaging trade war.

Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each, as Trump has pushed Beijing to open its economy further and address the United States' large trade deficit with China.

Galimberti noted that there are tariffs on Canadian exports of steel and aluminum to the USA but nothing yet on American exports entering Canada, even as producers in this country begin to feel the bite of Washington's trade measures.

Trump last week rattled some of the closest USA allies by removing an exemption to tariffs on imported steel and aluminum that his administration had granted to Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

Freeland said the government was pondering whether to do the same for steel and aluminum producers.

"The prime minister said the USA, United Kingdom and European Union are close national security allies and we recognise the importance of the values of open and fair trade across the world", according to a Downing Street spokesman. "We are hurt and we are insulted", she added.

The White House said last week the new tariffs targeting China's high-tech manufacturing industries will go into effect shortly after June 15. China has promised to enact retaliatory sanctions of its own - targeting US agricultural goods, automobiles, and aircraft - as soon as the USA tariffs begin. Not acceptable!" In a conference call later today with grassroots supporters, he said: "We will be in a very strong position very soon.

For its part, Chinese media outlet Global Times presumed that the ongoing trade dispute could become a "protracted" one: "Given the U.S. may change its mind and make new requests from time to time, it is hard for both sides to nail down a consistent trade pact and stabilize their trade relationship". Trump has himself suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping had influenced a statement from North Korea following Kim's second visit to China.

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the U.S. imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs", the statement emphasized. But he showed no sign he plans to change his confrontational approach to trade policy. "We've been in a trade war for the past 30 years", Zekelman insists.

Trump, meanwhile, suggested Friday that NAFTA could be replaced by two separate trade accords, one with Mexico and another with Canada.

On Sunday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland urged Trump to "think hard about the message you're sending to your closest allies".

"If the U.S. deliberately creates trade barriers and provokes a trade war, then this is not a market problem, it is already a political problem", Bian told Sputnik China. The USDA estimates their purchases at $74.2 billion of total farm exports of $142.5 billion this fiscal year.

The same was true of Mexico and Canada, with the latter's leader lashing out at Trump in recent days over the matter.

Trump wrote in a series of tweets that his trade negotiations with China and a slew of United States allies would break down large trade barriers faced by American farmers.