Steel and aluminum stocks surged initially, but pared gains. The US is also engaged in negotiations with the US and Canada with the goal of updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The Trump administration launched a national security investigation last week into auto and truck imports, using the same 1962 law that he has applied to curb incoming steel and aluminum.
European trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said she doubted that Europe could avoid some kind of restriction, whether they be tariffs or export limits.
Meanwhile, Mexico has answered the USA tariffs with its own on products including pork bellies, grapes, apples and flat steel.
U.S. President Donald Trump is placing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, effective midnight tonight.
Ross and Lighthizer seemed like the odd men out at this week's gathering at the OECD, an worldwide economic agency that includes the U.S.as a prominent member.
Ross said that while not much progress has been made in negotiations with the European Union, the NAFTA negotiations with Canada and Mexico is taking longer than expected.More news: Pokemon Quest Announced for Mobile and Nintendo Switch
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Mexico responded to US steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing wide-ranging "equivalent" measures, including on steel and farm products, the economy ministry said on Thursday.
U.S. Presidential nomineeDonald Trump walks past a Mexican flag after giving a press conference with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2016.
The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 EU members, has said the bloc should be permanently exempted from the tariffs since it was not the cause of overcapacity in steel and aluminium. Even if the USA were to agree to waive the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Malmstrom said, "I expect them nonetheless to want to impose some sort of cap on European Union exports". Through the first three quarters of 2017, the US ran a relatively minor trade deficit with Canada of about a half-million metric tons, according to Department of Commerce data.
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.
"Such a move would hit American manufacturers with higher costs, slow the growth of the US construction sector, and put the brakes on job creation in both of these key industries", the Chamber said.
Ross said the US would consider the effect of those measures. But they can increase costs more broadly for US manufacturers that cannot source all their needs locally and have to import the materials. "It's totally unacceptable that a country is imposing unilateral measures when it comes to world trade".
In a clear reference to Trump, Macron added: "These solutions might bring symbolic satisfaction in the short term".