Trump signs sweeping tariffs, defying trade war warnings

11 March, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • The president said aggressive foreign trade practices are

"Slapping aluminum and steel imports with tariffs of this magnitude is misguided". Canada and Mexico will be exempt from the tariffs amid ongoing Nafta negotiations, and other U.S. allies will be allowed to petition for similar exemptions.

"The American aluminum and steel industry has been ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices".

Trump has promised to cut ties to trade deals considered unfavorable to United States interests as part of his campaign pledge. "The president's action, motivated by his political whims rather than effective policy, will invite retaliation and isolate us further from our trading partners".

"Nothing", one western diplomat said when asked whether final word had yet come from the White House. It's gonna give us. the opportunity to negotiate a great deal for this country. However, some economists fear that Trump will set off a wave of reprisal tariffs that will eventually damage the steel and aluminium industries in all countries. The exemptions for Canada and Mexico could be ended if talks to renegotiate NAFTA stall.

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

Axel Eggert, chief of Europe's main steel federation (EUROFER) said on Friday that Trump's tariffs are absurd, and, with the expected massive steel import surge to the European Union (EU), they could cost tens of thousands of jobs across the continent.

Despite objections by many business trade groups, by most Democrats and Republicans, and by a number of advisers in the Trump administration, the USA president forged ahead with his plan on Thursday, keeping a promise he made during his 2016 presidential campaign. So, will other leaders want to sit across from the U.S. to make such a deal? US stocks pared gains on Thursday after the administration official's comments.

Trump said the tariff hikes ordered Thursday were needed to protect U.S. national security by ensuring the survival of the country's metals producers.

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He repeatedly argued that exemptions would throw the whole thing out of whack, saying that "as soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country".

He said that if these countries charge us 50 percent, the United States would charge them equally.

"The proclamation will have a clause that does not impose these tariffs immediately, on Canada and Mexico". But Mr. Trump's trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has failed to ask the convene a panel of judges to hear the case, effectively suspending it. Mr. Lighthizer's office declined to answer questions about the case. "We do not want to stop that growth by creating an all-out trade war". "China firmly opposes it", said a Commerce Ministry official, Wang Hejun, in a statement.

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Thursday on the Fox News Channel that 'the president has called a meeting today at 3:30. It also precedes by just days a special election in a Pennsylvania congressional district that includes many communities once dependent on the steel industry and where Mr Trump is due to campaign on Saturday.

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