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Despite media speculations that the United States could possibly introduce long-term exemptions from the tariffs for its close allies, Trump has opted for moving ahead with steel and aluminium duties.

The administration's biggest concern is over steel exports from China, but the White House believes overcapacity in other nations must similarly be addressed. Those negotiations had a Friday deadline.

Officials from the three trading partners - among Washington's closest allies for decades - have dismissed the idea that their shipments to American customers endanger the United States.

"Without a strong economy you can't have strong national security", Ross said.

Stephanie Segal, deputy director of the Simon Chair in political economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Washington's many about-faces meant consensus in the near-term was an increasingly dim prospect.

Trump's announcement lifted American steel and aluminum stocks because those companies stand to benefit from penalties against their foreign competitors. U.S. Steel (X) rose 3.6%, Steel Dynamics (STLD) pulled back to a 0.6% gain.

The U.S. plan has raised the threat of retaliation from Europe and fears of a global trade war - a prospect that is already weighing on investor confidence and could hinder the global economic upturn.

Dow Jones components Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT), heavy steel users vulnerable in a trade war, fell more than 1%.

European Union leaders have a "gun held to their head" over the threat of United States tariffs on steel imports, the head of trade body UK Steel has warned. But Canada and Mexico were reportedly stunned by the move. Canada had also pledged to retaliate. Earlier this week, there were reports that the talks might be canceled following Trump's renewed threat to impose import taxes on $50 billion in Chinese products. European Union leaders want "exceptions from these tariffs and have offered to hold talks on a certain basis".

Outside of just the beer industry, multiple studies estimated that the steel and aluminum tariffs would result in a net loss of USA jobs and hurt the domestic economy.

The Prime Minister's Office said they "all agreed to continue to defend the Canadian steel and aluminum industry from unwarranted tariffs and to stand up for the best interests of all Canadian workers and businesses".

Ross is scheduled to go to China this weekend for a third round of negotiations.

Besides the USA steel and aluminum tariffs, the U.S.is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.

Trump has justified the metals duties by invoking a national security provision under Section 232 of a 1960s trade law.

Such an action could hurt Mexico, Canada, Germany and Japan.


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