In 2018, the American government began unilaterally imposing tariffs on many foreign imports.
This tactic was seen as a direct affront to the agreement that all trade disputes be settled around a table at the WTO.
The U.S. claimed it was only protecting national security, a claim that was hard to take seriously since the "threat" was coming from longtime allies, such as Canada and the U.K.
The European Union and Canada immediately responded with calls to limit U.S. imports.
- They targeted Kentucky bourbon, Levi's jeans, an a vast array of other American products - not necessarily tied to national security but quite strategic in the sense that many of the targeted products were from the American Midwest, an area populated by many isolationist voters.