Koch brothers taking on Trump with free trade campaign

Theresa May and Donald Trump

GETTYMay will try to persuade Donald Trump to reverse his steel and aluminium tariffs

"Why is the prime minister waiting three weeks to impose these counter-measures specifically on steel and aluminum when the US tariffs came into effect right away?"

"Farmers have not been doing well for 15 years".

The same was true of Mexico and Canada, with the latter's leader lashing out at Trump in recent days over the matter. "By the time I finish trade talks, that will change", he tweeted.

Other US allies have also reacted with fury and retaliation, with fears building of a global trade war. Previously, the Chinese government had agreed to increase its purchases of US agriculture and energy products in a bid to decrease the trade deficit.

It's not very surprising that the libertarianish Kochs support free trade and oppose trade wars.

Trump won the presidency with the help of farm-heavy states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana.

But he exempted Canada, Mexico and the European Union to buy time for negotiations, a reprieve that expired at midnight on Thursday.

All three have plan to retaliate with their own tariffs on United States goods, stoking fears of an escalating conflict.

Canada, the second-largest trade partner, behind China, responded with "dollar-for-dollar" tariffs against US steel and aluminum exports. But just nine days later, a White House statement declared the USA intention to place a 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, focusing on technology products.

Trump, meanwhile, broadened his trade tirades on Twitter into agriculture, writing: "Canada has all sorts of trade barriers on our Agricultural products".

Mexico ran up a $3.6 billion steel trade deficit with the U.S.in the past two years, according to the local steel industry chamber.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the weekend and a statement issued after the talks made no mention of specific offer or numbers. But he said the us insistence on a five-year sunset clause was a deal breaker.

He has echoed the administration's position that America has gotten the short end of the stick from China.

"China behaves logically, because the United States trade deficit is the result of the inefficient American economy", the Russian academic opined.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had said the IP tariffs were on hold after China signalled its willingness to reduce its trade surplus with the United States.

"He's looking at the best way to make sure he gets the best deal possible for American workers and whether or not that's through NAFTA or other means, those options are on the table", Sanders told a news briefing.

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

"The prime minister raised the US decision to apply tariffs to European Union steel and aluminum imports, which she said was unjustified and deeply disappointing", a spokesperson from her office said, according to reports.

Mexico will import more pork products from Europe after imposing a 20 percent tariff on US pork legs and shoulders in retaliation to steel tariffs, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Tuesday.

They added that Chinese officials had asked for confirmation that Trump would move ahead with his planned reprieve for Chinese telecom firm ZTE, which had sanctions placed on it for failing to follow through on reforms after it was found to be dealing with Iran.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Niet has been just as critical of the president, calling his attacks on Mexico 'offensive and unfounded'.

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