Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Stocks gain as United States tariffs milder than expected

Stocks gain as United States tariffs milder than expected

His move, an assertive step for his "America First" agenda, has rattled allies across the globe and raised questions at home about whether protectionism will impede USA economic growth.

Hyundai Motor Co. last week said it may revisit how many vehicles it builds in the US, joining the world's largest automakers in speaking out against Trump's crackdown on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump drew on rarely used national security grounds to place a 25 percent tax on steel imports and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum.

"The proposal so far would be a global tariff on steel and aluminum", he said. But he also said the penalties could "go up or down depending on the country, and I'll have a right to drop out countries or add countries. I just want fairness". Even if the WTO panel rules after that time that Trump's tariffs are illegal, Trump administration officials indicated a year ago that they may not care that much.

But there was political criticism aplenty, especially from Trump's own Republican Party.

The White House adviser also pushed back against reports casting the process as arbitrary, sloppy and rife for successful legal challenges. And Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin called the tariffs "a very risky action" that could put agricultural and manufacturing jobs at risk. And that includes - I mean that includes a lot of territory. NAFTA is now being renegotiated, and Trump has made no secret that he is perfectly willing to walk away from the agreement altogether if disparities in manufacturing and technology that negatively impact American workers are not addressed.

"The trade deficits have been too high". As such, the company has been following this issue carefully - and making our voice heard through direct appeals to elected officials - since the U.S. Commerce Department began investigating potential steel and aluminum tariffs a year ago.

Simon Lester, an expert on WTO law at the libertarian Cato Institute, said there was also a risk that the European Union could set a precedent akin to the one it was accusing the USA of making by using a rarely used national security loophole in global trade rules.

As a journalist, amid all the sound and fury of the daily news cycle, it is good to be reminded of how little most of it matters to many of his supporters.

Wang, who spoke on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing, urged the work with China on a mutually beneficial solution.

Nations around the globe that were not excluded from the tariffs reacted with dismay.

Thursday's positive finish in North American markets was preceded by mild swings throughout the day as investors waited to see the details and wider implications of the tariffs, said Anish Chopra, managing director with Portfolio Management Toronto. In my view trade rules must be followed and if counties violate those trade rules they need to be held accountable. "These measures could make a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the USA, who are allies", said Japan's foreign minister, Taro Kono.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, meanwhile, called the announcement a "step forward" and said Canadian officials had exerted tremendous efforts to get the exemption. "That Canada could be seen as a threat to US security is inconceivable", she said.

Trump said both Canada and Mexico are exempt from the new tariffs, a move that should help to at least lessen a negative impact. The talks are expected to resume early next month. By hurriedly organising a televised White House meeting with steel workers he declared a trade war true to his election promise: Win Pennsylvania's 18 district for the Trump candidate, world economy be damned. First there are the free traders in the GOP, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, then there's the globalist-minded International Monetary Fund, a smattering of big business trade groups, and, of course, leftist Democrats, who are against Trump's plan simply because it is Trump's plan.

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