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President Trump is imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

The Trump administration faced a decision with previously granted exemptions from the tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports expiring June 1.

Canada could impose duties on US yogurt, meat, and jam, as well as mirroring tariffs on steel and aluminum starting in July, in response to the Donald Trump administration's tariffs on those metals, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland announced this afternoon.

However, shares of US seel and aluminium producers rose, with US Steel Corp and AK Steel up around 3.5 per cent, Nucor up around 1 per cent, and Century Aluminum rising 3.1 per cent.

A steel worker at the Salzgitter AG in Salzgitter, Germany. Canada is the biggest steel exporter to the U.S.

Last week, the USA administration launched a national security-based investigation that could result in stinging tariffs on the autos the U.S. imports annually, just as it has for the smaller aluminium and steel industries.

But German politicians and industry groups have said they are concerned that tit-for-tat measures could end in damaging tariffs on German automobiles, an outcome that Trump has repeatedly threatened.

Mexico has also announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports including pork bellies, apples, grapes, cheese and flat steel, according to a statement from Mexico's Economy Ministry.

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U.S. President Donald Trump look on as he welcomes South Korea's President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2018.

"Today is a bad day for world trade", European Union trade chief Cecila Malmstrom said after Thursday's announcement that the tariffs would finally take effect.

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US and European officials held last-ditch talks in Paris on Thursday to try to avert a deal, though hopes are low and fears of a trade war are mounting.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said Trump's tariffs were "totally unacceptable" and promised to retaliate in due course.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the US tariffs "unjustified, unjustifiable and unsafe". The European Commission said that specific countermeasures would come Friday.

Worries about a USA trade war with the European Union weighed on Wall Street stocks at the open, but shares of United States steel and aluminum makers were up strongly.

Dieter Kempf, president of the Federation of German Industries, said in an interview aired Thursday by public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that he predicts a "trade spiral" as a result of the tariffs.

"We must work with the United States of America to find a way out of this current scenario that preserves our economic links, and we will continue working urgently with the U.S. Administration to protect British trade, jobs and growth", says Digby. Yet Canada is also, far and away, the largest export market for USA steelmakers.

"We have been, and will continue, to work closely with our customers on potential product exclusions as the vast majority of the products Tata Steel Europe exports to the U.S. can not be made by USA steel companies, such as our extra wide strip, battery quality hot rolled material as well as certain packaging steels", he said.

'Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in world trade.

Findings of section 232 investigations into the effect of steel and aluminum imports on the national security of the United States were released in January.

The US has an approximately $38bn trade in goods deficit with the European Union, with about $78bn exported to Europe from the US, and $116bn going the other way. "We will respond appropriately", she said.