Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

U.S. eases way to more tariff exemptions under pressure By

U.S. eases way to more tariff exemptions under pressure By

French President Emmanuel Macron warned his U.S. counterpart against forging ahead with the planned tariffs, saying they risked provoking a mutually destructive "trade war".

Trump brushed aside warnings from his own conservative lawmakers and foreign trading partners in imposing the tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium products.

While steel and aluminum manufacturers cheered the tariffs that Trump formally implemented Thursday, other manufacturers have howled that higher prices for those raw materials would spark price hikes for consumers.

"I had a frank discussion with the USA side about the serious pending issue of steel/aluminum tariffs", the top European Union trade official, Cecilia Malmstrom, wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

After the meeting, Malmstrom tweeted, "No immediate clarity on the exact US procedure for discussions will continue next week". Argentina made a similar case.

Musk, 46, was a member of Trump's advisory council before stepping down following the president's decision in June to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. The U.S. bought 5 per cent of Japan's steel previous year but just 1.1 per cent of China's steel.

Seko said he believed there was still time for Japan to secure an exemption.

In Twitter posts Saturday, Trump expressed dissatisfaction with America's trade deficits with both Japan and the European Union, though he didn't specifically refer to its steel trade with Japan.

"Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security, so we expect to be excluded", Malmstrom, the 28-nation EU's trade commissioner, told reporters in Brussels on Friday.

"Taking retaliatory measures won't work in the interest of any country", he said at the news conference.

In Brussels, the three officials also held a trilateral meeting, on the basis of which Seko said they are considering jointly filing a WTO suit against a third country's measures distorting trade.

Steel producers in the Cleveland area were among those in the US, in recent years, who have gotten the government to impose duties against nations that engage in unfair trade to cope with their steel glut.

Some products under consideration are largely produced in constituencies controlled by Trump's Republican Party.

The EU has warned that it stands ready to slap retaliatory tariffs on USA steel, agricultural and other products, like peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

What Trump is proposing to do is to impose a tariff of about 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports to try to preserve jobs in the steel and aluminum industries and help those industries-which have been declining for a while-grow.

The US leader had also added Australia to a list of likely exemptions.

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen since Trump took office past year.

The U.S. says China is the main culprit in flooding the market with cheap steel and aluminum, dragging down prices and putting American producers out of business.

China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate against the U.S., citing imports ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics.

"I will seek more clarity on this issue in the days to come".

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said NAFTA talks were "independent" of Trump's tariff actions and should not be subject to outside pressure.

Another GOP bill would require Congress to approve trade actions, but it's doubtful the GOP-led Congress can muster the votes to block Trump.

Some Democrats praised the move.

Trade tension between China and United States has risen since Trump took office. "We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law".

Like this: