U.S. President Donald Trump told Canada and the European Union on Friday to do more to bring down their trade surpluses, a day after hitting them and Mexico with import tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Trump castigated Canada, a top U.S. trade partner and ally, in a tweet on Friday morning, saying it had treated U.S. farmers “very poorly for a very long period of time.”
“Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us,” he wrote.
Trump also told French President Emmanuel Macron of the need to “rebalance trade with Europe,” the White House said.
The strong words followed swift responses to the tariffs by Canada, Mexico and the EU, which all plan to retaliate with levies on billions of dollars of U.S. goods, including orange juice, whiskey, blue jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson’s stock dropped 1.5 percent on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index rebounded from losses on Thursday to trade about 1 percent higher. Among the gainers, shares of AK Steel rose 3.8 percent while U.S. Steel added 3.4 percent.
Brussels has lodged an eight-page list at the World Trade Organization of goods it would hit with retaliatory measures.
At a meeting of the Group of Seven top world economic powers in Canada, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire castigated the United States for its tariffs, saying Washington was isolated.
“Unfortunately we are going to have a G6 plus one with the United States alone against everyone and running the risk of economic destabilization,” Le Maire told reporters in Whistler, British Columbia.
Trump imposed the tariffs in March as part of an effort to protect U.S. industry and workers from what he described as unfair international competition, a key theme of his “America First” agenda.
Temporary exemptions were granted to a number of nations including Canada and Mexico as well as the EU. The United States on Thursday decided to let those exemptions lapse.
Canada and Mexico, who are in stalled talks with the United States to redraw the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), responded swiftly.