"It's entirely up to USA authorities whether they want to enter into a trade conflict with their biggest partner, Europe", Le Maire told reporters after meeting Ross in Paris.
Shares of Canadian metal companies got sideswiped Thursday after the Trump administration announced it will impose tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on imported aluminum from Canada, beginning at midnight.
The three allies were previously given temporary exemptions from the duties - 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.
The expansion builds on new funding announced in late April of an initial outlay of more than $30 million over five years to hire 40 new officers to investigate trade-related complaints, including those linked to steel and aluminum.
In the name of national security, the Trump administration is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars. Some observers say a G6-plus-one scenario is already shaping up, with Trump as the outlier.
Mexico announced in a statement Thursday it would retaliate against the USA by imposing "equivalent measures" on products such as "flat steel, lamps, pork and numerous produce items until the U.S. eliminates the imposed tariffs".
"It's not everyone attacking the other and we see who remains standing at the end", he said, declaring that the stiff taxes would be "unjustified, unjustifiable and dangerous". Nucor Corp., the biggest USA steel producer, rose 0.6 per cent to US$64.49.
Some stocks of USA companies that could be adversely affected by the tariffs, or by possible retaliatory action against the US, headed down.
This comes after USA and EU trade officials spent two months trying to reach an agreement to create a tariff exemption for European countries.
Malaysia seeking to build island in waters near Singapore
We will make no money at all from the operation. "If we break the agreement, we have to pay a very large sum of money". Singapore's government did not immediately have any comment on Dr Mahathir's reported vow to scrap the project.
Speaking to an energy conference in Brussels as the U.S. decision was announced, Jean-Claude Juncker urged...
"There can be negotiations with or without tariffs in place".
Ross said the tariffs are based on national security concerns, which he said was an all encompassing category.
Similarly, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko put out a joint statement on USA tariff efforts, saying "This would cause serious turmoil in the global market and could lead to the demise of the multilateral trading system based on WTO rules".
On Twitter, Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament said Europe had "no choice" but to defend itself.
Ross explained that the previous extension for Canada and Mexico was specifically due to ongoing NAFTA talks, but that "those talks had been taking longer than we had hoped" and there's no longer a precise date of when a deal may be reached.
"The decision announced today is a significant threat to the 22,000 Canadian households whose livelihoods are directly supported by employment in Canadian steel", said Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association.
On CTV News Channel, Aluminum Association of Canada Chief Executive Jean Simard called the US move "unfortunate", and also called the national security argument a "non-issue", explaining that the two countries are highly integrated when it comes to defence supply.
"Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in world trade". "The Administration will continue to monitor steel and aluminum imports and adjust the measures in effect as necessary to protect the national security of the United States". "We will respond appropriately".