Eye on Trump strongholds, Mexico hits back with pork, bourbon tariffs

06 June, 2018, 03:28 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • Cecilia Malmstrom the European Union’s Trade Commissioner

American pork producers, for whom Mexico is the largest export market, were dismayed by the move.

Mexico and other US allies including the European Union and Canada have hit back after US President Donald Trump announced stinging steel and aluminium tariffs that came into effect on Friday.

"They agreed to discuss this and wider issues of free and fair global trade further at the G7 summit later this week", he added.

China has offered to boost purchases of American goods by about $25 billion this year to fulfill President Donald Trump's desire to shrink the US trade deficit with the world's second-largest economy, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mexico's trade negotiators designed the list, in part, to include products exported by top Republican leaders' states, including in, where Vice President Mike Pence was formerly governor, according to a trade source familiar with the matter. When Harry Reid was Senate majority leader, the Nevada Democrat routinely railed against the duo in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections as "power-drunk billionaires" intent on buying American elections to suit their purposes.

U.S. companies buying European Union steel will now have to pay a 25% tax, while aluminium has a 10% tariff after Mr Trump cited national security interests.

Increased purchases of coal and natural gas from the USA would also pump money into states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia that will be Republican targets in November's midterm elections, the sources said.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures at one point fell more than 2 percent following the Mexico pork tariff announcement.

The administration has said that a final list of goods to be tariffed would be issued next week and that Treasury plans to limit Chinese investment in the United States were also under way.

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"But I say in all seriousness that escalation is not what we require - we need a proportionate response done calmly, with time to give the United States some reflection to change its mind". -China trade talks dissolved in a matter of days, expectations were low for Ross' visit this week.

Heriberto Hernández, president of the Mexican Association of Pork Producers (OPORPA), said that he supports the government's decision and didn't expert Mexican pork prices to go up because "there are a lot of alternatives" to US suppliers. As The Diplomat reported previously, on May 20 U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war to be "on hold".

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg warned earlier that "tit-for-tat retaliation" could make a trade war worse, saying history shows "protectionism is worst for the country that imposes it".

With the US economy under siege from all sides, Beijing now rightly calculates that the pressure on the Trump administration to rethink its trade strategy will be intense and Washington, ultimately, will blink.

The agreement governs trade between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Last week however, United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the USA had made insufficient progress with its allies to reduce America's trade deficit, and lifted the waiver.

Mexico - a net importer of USA steel - is also putting 25% duties on a range of American steel products.

Those penalties will remain in place "until the United States government eliminates tariffs imposed", Mexico's government said. Canada has also strongly objected to the metals tariffs.


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