FT: Trump Adopts Steel Tariffs but Opens Door to Exemptions

11 March, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to the media after a news conference during the National People's Congress in Beijing

The US will impose tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on imported aluminium, which will take effect this month.

President Donald Trump's decision to introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the United States has caused a chain reaction across the USA economy.

"A strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security, absolutely vital", he said.

The EU intends to hit a range of USA goods with punitive tariffs in retaliation should the bloc face the U.S. import taxes.

Railroad tracks run past the blast furnaces of the now-closed Bethlehem Steel mill in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, April 21, 2016.

Trump had indicated he would be flexible toward "real friends", and during the signing confirmed Canada and Mexico would be permanently exempted if the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is successful.

The United States President imposed import duty on steel and aluminium.

A $1 billion decrease in the U.S.

"We want a lot of steel coming into our country, but we want it to be fair, we want our workers to be protected", Trump said Thursday before signing an order on the tariffs.

The move has "spooked markets, prompted his chief economist's resignation, rattled major United States allies and widened a rift with establishment Republicans", says CNN.

Trump has complained about low-priced Chinese exports of steel and aluminum, but the latest move was likely to hit Japan and South Korea harder.

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European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom vowed to press for an EU exemption from U.S. tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium when she meets her American counterpart in Brussels on Saturday.

European Commissioner Malmstrom, who coordinates policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, said she stood ready to go to the WTO, the worldwide trade arbiter, to impose the bloc's own safeguards within 90 days.

The overall USA labor market continued to improve in February, with 313,000 new jobs added last month.

"Many of the countries that treat us the worst on trade are our allies", Trump added.

"Tokusen U.S.A.in Conway, Arkansas, a company primarily in the business of manufacturing steel tire cord, could be negatively impacted by these across-the-board tariffs, and said the result would be "catastrophic" for their business", a statement from Hill said.

In imposing the tariffs, Trump broke with many members of his own party, none of whom joined him for the event at the White House.

As markets fell on news that Wall Street favorite Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, had resigned from the White House in protest at Trump's trade decision, Ross tried to calm fears.

"We have some friends and some enemies where we have been tremendously taken advantage of over the years on trade and on military", he said.

European industry associations called on Malmstrom to respond if the EU was subjected to the tariffs, saying they would hit the steel and aluminium sectors hard.

"And it is certainly not the right way to include Europe in that because we are friends, we are allies, we work together, we can not possibly be a threat to national security in the USA, so we are counting on being excluded".

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