Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Fears of a trade war after Trump imposes new steel tariffs

Fears of a trade war after Trump imposes new steel tariffs

US President Donald Trump gave the green light on Thursday to the import levies on national-security grounds while sparing Canada and Mexico and giving his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, scope to work out exemptions for more countries.

President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday he was intent on slapping new tariffs on steel and aluminum despite lingering legal questions and steep resistance from members of his own party and major U.S. allies.

"All countries will be welcome to discuss with the United States alternative ways to address the threatened impairment of the national security caused by their imports", a White House official said.

"Unfair trading practices from countries like China have distorted the global steel and aluminum markets".

"Slapping aluminum and steel imports with tariffs of this magnitude is misguided".

The EU said it was prepared to respond to any tariffs with counter-measures against US products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans and bourbon. Only Canada and Mexico - both partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement being renegotiated - were excluded from the tariffs.

China, which ranks 11 among the largest sources of U.S. steel imports, was also the only country named in a White House statement on the tariffs, amid a worldwide glut of aluminium that has shuttered USA smelters.

The association called on the government to take firm counter-measures against imports from the USA, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"We are an ally, not a threat", Katainen said. In this article, we'll take a look at what they could be.

"Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security, so we expect to be excluded", Ms Malmstrom, the trade commissioner, told reporters in Brussels on Friday. While the tariffs were welcomed broadly by steel and aluminium producers, they drew criticism from a wider array of industry and business groups representing industries that use steel.

"We're going to hold off the tariff on those two countries, to see whether or not we're able to make the deal on NAFTA", Trump said.

"I am disappointed in this announcement and will be working with the businesses that may be potentially impacted by this decision along with the administration about how best to continue our joint efforts to create jobs and spur new growth", Gardner said.

Representatives from the steel and aluminum industries have already begun convening in Washington ahead of an announcement.

Australia, which sends more than $US400 million of steel and aluminium to the United States each year, is also hoping for an exemption.

The president has said the tariffs are needed to reinforce lagging American steel and aluminum industries and protect national security.

China's Commerce Ministry said it "firmly opposes" Trump's move which will lead to "a serious attack on normal global trade order".

Despite lingering uncertainty about how long the exemption will last, the Mexican peso rose against the U.S. dollar after the president's announcement and the Canadian dollar also regained ground it had lost against the greenback.

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