Canada, Mexico and the European Union "because there are other issues" that need to be resolved. Negotiations with Europe have "made some progress" but not enough to merit an exemption, he added.
- While a trade war with China may be on hold, the European Union seems poised to retaliate against the U.S. measures. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared on May 20 that the trade war with China was "on hold" as the two sides negotiated terms of a new agreement.
- The Trump administration has decided that trade negotiations have proven fruitless and will go ahead with imposing tariffs on imported aluminum and steel from Canada, Mexico, and the EU. Barring an 11th-hour reprieve, those exemptions will expire as scheduled.
Although the US market amounts to a low single-digit percentage of German steel industry output, German politicians and industry groups have said they are concerned that tit-for-tat measures could end in damaging tariffs on foreign automobiles, an outcome that Trump has repeatedly threatened.
The Trump administration also has threatened to impose tariffs on vehicle imports, is engaged in negotiations with China to reduce America's yawning trade deficit and has said it will punish Beijing for stealing its technology by imposing tariffs on $50 billion (37.6 billion pounds) of imports from China.
The Commerce department has been in talks with the European Union - which has enjoyed a temporary waiver to the tariffs - on a trade arrangement to allow for a permanent exemption from the tariffs.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March as part of an effort to protect U.S. industry and workers from what he described as unfair worldwide competition.
Markets have seen extreme swings in recent months, amid fears of an overheated market and uncertainty regarding American trade policy, interest rates and European politics.
The EU has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on USA cranberries, peanut butter, whisky, denim and other popular goods if the United States makes good on its tariff threat.
"The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the United States and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium". We've been down this road before - blanket protectionism is a big part of why America had a Great Depression.
"Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers", said Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, chairman of the Finance Committee, which oversees trade in the upper chamber. But they can also increase costs more broadly for USA manufacturers who cannot source all their needs locally and have to import the materials.
"This is a bad day for the world trade", he stressed.
According to the Associated Press, French President Emmanuel Macron alluded to Trump's leadership style directly in slamming the pending tariffs in a Wednesday speech.
Besides the US steel and aluminum tariffs, the Trump administration is also investigating possible limits on foreign cars in the name of national security.
Ross criticized the European Union for its tough negotiating position.
The tough talk may just be a negotiating tactic, but it will make investors apprehensive, forcing them to make changes to their asset allocations in response to the on-again and off-again trade wars.