U.S. allies brace for trade war as tariff negotiations stall

But with only days left before the exemptions expire and punitive tariffs take effect, it’s dawning on foreign leaders that decades of warm relations with the United States carry little weight with a president dismissive of diplomatic norms and hostile toward the ground rules of international trade.

What began as a way to protect American steel and aluminum jobs has since become a cudgel that the Trump administration is using to extract concessions in other areas, including car exports to Europe or negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada…

The European Union, the United States’ biggest trading partner, indicated over the weekend that it was losing hope of reaching an agreement in the face of what many of the region’s political leaders regard as unreasonable demands. While a last-minute extension of the deadline is still possible, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France, who each met with President Trump in Washington last week, spoke with Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain over the weekend about enacting retaliatory tariffs if the European Union did not receive an exemption.