"Mexico has the right to take measures with equivalent commercial effects", the economy ministry said in a statement explaining the tariffs. She has called the United States tariffs "pure protectionism" and "illegal" under rules governed by the World Trade Organization.
Both the European Union and Canada have already opened legal challenges to the United States at the WTO, the Geneva-based arbitrator of worldwide trade disputes that is loathed by President Donald Trump who on Friday imposed duties of 25 per cent for steel and 10 per cent for aluminium against his allies.
Mexico filed the complaint after Trump decided not to extend a temporary exemption granted in March to the EU, Canada and Mexico.
The U.S., Mexico and Canada are locked in a contentious renegotiation of the North American Trade Agreement. Big trade barriers against United States farmers, and other businesses, will finally be broken.
Joseph Galimberti, the president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, says he urged the government in a cabinet meeting today to immediately impose the retaliatory tariffs on metals while it consults on other products.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, spoke as soon as Washington announced the new duties.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the USA tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel "unacceptable".
The tariff increases are created to hit areas that are politically favorable to Trump, such as pork production, Mexican experts said. But the Trump administration walked away. Although Washington wants its deficit with China to average $15 billion monthly, it will likely also hover around last month's $26 billion. Additional US tariffs aimed at quickly closing the trade gap with China could therefore mark a point of no return en route to a quickly escalating trade war.