Justin Trudeau's speech in response to Donald Trump's tariff announcement

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

"We take the view that without a strong economy, you can not have strong national security", Ross said Thursday.

But hope faded when US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the United States would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada and others from Friday.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso criticized Washington's decision as "deeply deplorable", adding that it was the "US against everyone else".

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said President Trump's tariffs were "totally unacceptable".

The US was singled out by some of its closest allies over the imposition of tariffs that they warn will undermine open trade and weaken confidence in the global economy.

Morneau, who presided at the ministerial meeting in Whistler, said even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to persuade Trump to withdraw the tariffs.

Companies around the world have expressed concern about the tariffs and the risk that it could escalate into a trade war, in which both sides hit each other with tit-for-tat measures.

The European Union is planning retaliatory tariffs on USA steel and food goods in the coming weeks, once it calculates the exact cost to EU companies of the US tariffs.

Speaking to LBC the MP for Chingford argued the Donald Trump and the European Union should unite and take China to the World Trade Organisation.

The Mexican government plans to retaliate with comparable penalties on US products, including lamps, pork, fruit, cheese and flat steel.

The EU, Canada and Mexico vowed retaliatory tariffs on US goods including motorcycles, T-shirts, jeans, grapes, apples, pizzas, mattresses and refrigerators.

"The American administration has made a decision today that we deplore, and obviously is going to lead to retaliatory measures, as it must", said Canadian President Justin Trudeau. "That is not Free or Fair Trade, it is Stupid Trade!"

Speaking at a news conference Thursday, the normally mild-mannered young prime minister expressed particular dismay that the tariffs announced by the Trump administration were being imposed on national security grounds to protect the US economy and vital industries.

The products would be hit if the WTO rules that the United States steel and aluminum tariffs are illegal. "But we need to respond".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that he'd offered to go to Washington this week to complete the talks, thinking they were close to an agreement, but that Vice President Mike Pence called him and told him a meeting with the USA president would only happen if Trudeau agreed to put a five-year sunset clause into the deal.

The tariffs were set to take effect Friday.

"We see that response as being a way to get us back to the table so the impacts actually don't happen", Mr Morneau said.

Trudeau was in Halifax to speak to the annual conference of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

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