The Latest: UK's May tells Trump his tariffs 'unjustified'

 
 
Updated 6/4/2018 11:58 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Latest on President Donald Trump and trade talks with China, Canada and Mexico. (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May is telling President Donald Trump that his decision to impose tariffs and steel and aluminum imports from the European Union was "unjustified and deeply disappointing."

The British government says May told Trump that the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union are "close national security allies" and they recognize the importance of open and fair trade.

May says she and Trump plan to discuss the issue at the G7 summit in Canada later this week.

The British leader has said that European nations should be permanently exempted from the tariffs.

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12:45 p.m.

Groups backed by the influential Koch brothers are launching a new campaign to oppose tariffs and highlight the benefits of free trade.

They're announcing a multimillion dollar initiative that includes ads, lobbying and grass-roots mobilization as President Donald Trump puts trade tops on the agenda.

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The groups - Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative - are calling on Congress to exert oversight by requiring House and Senate votes on any new tariffs. They want to lift recent steel and aluminum tariffs as well as those being proposed on goods from China.

Freedom Partners' James Davis said trade is a "top priority" as the groups "work aggressively to educate policymakers and others." They want to confront "protectionist ideas" they say would hold back the economy.

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10:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his tough trade negotiations with China, Canada and Mexico, saying that U.S. farmers have been treated "unfairly." The president says on Twitter that by the time he finishes his trade negotiations, "that will change" and big trade barriers "will finally be broken."

Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from top U.S. trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union. And he has threatened tariffs on up to $200 billion in Chinese imports, raising the potential for retaliation.

The hard-line rhetoric comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross returns from China as part of the ongoing trade discussions. The White House says the meeting focused on reducing the U.S. trade deficit by having China buy more agricultural and energy products.

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