United States President Donald Trump maintained a defensive stance towards his move to levy tariffs worth billions of dollars on many of the nation's allies, even as they retaliate.
According to the Hill, Trump and his administration have argued that the growing trade deficits were proof of the fact that the United States had been losing internationally for years.
Trump has levied heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum, on the grounds of national security, on all but a few nations, levied duties on China over the alleged theft of intellectual property and is also considering taxes on imported automobiles.
The tariffs have jeapordised bilateral relationships with allies such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU), threatening to push the world's top economies on the brink of a global trade war.
During a White House meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Trump hinted that if a trade deal was worked out with the EU, "it'll be positive, and if we don't, it'll be positive also."
Trump had recently launched a scathing attack on the EU for its imposition of tariffs, saying that the "European Union is as bad as China" in its trade policies.
The Trump administration has been recently slapping tariffs on other countries, claiming that the US was "being treated unfair on trade," raising grave concerns of a global trade war.
The US announced to impose 25 and 10 percent tariffs on steel and aluminium respectively on three of its biggest trading partners - Canada, Mexico and the EU on May 31.
In retaliation, the EU and Canada have slapped tariffs in a tit-for-tat move.
Last month, the EU imposed tariffs on American goods worth USD 3 billion such as yachts, bourbon and motorcycles.
On Friday, the Canadian government announced retaliatory tariffs on US imports, including steel, aluminium and certain consumer goods worth 16.6 billion Canadian dollars, and also unveiled a 2 billion Canadian dollar aid for supporting workers in its steel, aluminium and manufacturing sectors, effective July 1.