The only winner, who will emerge from Donald Trump's first-shot trade war with United States (US) allies, is Russia's Vladimir Putin. By design alone, a trade war between the US and its long standing allies - Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico, will benefit Putin and Russia alone.
US President Trump's allowance of stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum products from Canada, the EU and Mexico, at midnight last night, thereby creates a rift among multi-generational allies. Tariff on steel is set at 25% and 10% on aluminum products. Trump has claimed the tariffs are necessary in the national security interest of the US since the products are threatened by a worldwide global oversupply.
While Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been quick and forceful in rejecting any claim Canada poses any national security threat to the US, he has set Canada on a path to levy reciprocal tariffs on US goods by July 1. The United Kingdom (UK) International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, according to the BBC-News, has deemed as "patently absurd" Trump's new taxes. French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently buddied-up to Trump, reportedly told the US president in a telephone call that the new tariffs were "illegal" and that the EU would respond in a "firm and proportionate manner". Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission confirmed the bloc would move ahead with tariffs that are expected to affect $7.5 billion worth of US exports. He also noted that the EU would lodge a case against the US before the World Trade Organization (WTO), the BBC-News also reported.
Whatever happens from here in this new Trump-initiated splinter among western allies, one thing remains certain: Vladimir Putin has obtained an objective to splinter, divide and to weaken the western alliance. Trump's trade war has certainly accomodated Putin's achievement of his much desired objective.