Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump signs proclamations that impose tariff on steel, aluminium

Trump signs proclamations that impose tariff on steel, aluminium

A lot of good those warm feelings will do Boeing and Caterpillar: Both are big metal users and face competitive pressures from overseas that a trade war will only intensify.

"The exact nature of the (EU) steps will be decided after a close analysis of the American measures."Separately, Germany's transatlantic coordinator, Juergen Hardt, told Reuters the USA government should have exempted its European allies from punitive tariffs imposed against steel and aluminium imports that were primarily aimed at China". If a deal were made then there would be no tariffs imposed on them.

Trump was flanked in the Roosevelt Room by workers from those metals industries, some with hard hats in hand, as he signed the documents.

Trump's remarks at the proclamation signing ceremony were in line with the bellicose themes of his 2016 campaign and his inauguration address.

Canadian ministers and officials reached out to more than a dozen American players after Trump's surprising announcement last week that he would be imposing new import tariffs - 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic advisor, announced his resignation Monday, with White House sources telling media outlets that the decision was based on Trump's tariff push. Navarro is known as a strident critic of the trade policies of both Germany and China.

When the tariff plan is unveiled, it's believed that both Canada and Mexico could be given exemptions, with the condition that a new NAFTA agreement is signed with the US.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Europe's biggest economy and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, urged dialogue and warned that "no one can win in such a race to the bottom".

"Many of the countries that treat us the worst on trade and on the military are our allies, as they call them", he complained, even as Merkel said Germany and the European Union would seek exemption from the punitive tariffs. While business experts and American lawmakers speculate that the move was meant mostly to disadvantage China, it has enraged key USA allies like the European Union and Canada (the U.S.'s largest supplier of both materials). "They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there".

Strained relations between Washington and its traditional EU allies have grown so bad that European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi issued a call for calm in a Thursday press conference. "We are deadly serious" about solving what the USA sees as unfair trade in steel and aluminum. Unilateral decisions are risky.

Germany's exports to the United States - its largest trading partner - outweighed imports by 50.5 billion euros ($62.2 billion) across 2017 and 3.5 billion euros in January this year, figures released by federal statistics authority Destatis showed Friday.

The bloc has also said it would challenge the legality of the United States metal tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

"We are prepared and will be prepared if need be to use rebalancing measures", European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told reporters in Brussels. Other countries will also be allowed to apply for exemptions to the new taxes of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum. Ross refused to discuss specifics, but said there are "lots of things we are considering".

The lobbying found a mostly receptive audience: the USA military strongly resisted tariffs against allies and 107 congressional Republicans released a letter this week to express alarm over the move. Harley Davidson Inc motorcycles have also been mentioned, targeting House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.

He said he disagreed with the action, fearing its "unintended consequences".

Japan is the fourth biggest trading partner with the US. Barely 2% of the steel imported into the U.S. a year ago came from China, according to data from S&P Global Platts.

Across the pond, a trade war really is brewing. "The outcome will only be harmful to everyone".

Nevertheless, "the biggest risk for German exports seems to come from the U.S. the risk for Germany is for real", he added. He said the idea that Britain would be penalized on national security grounds was "absurd".

Qualcomm is one of the largest makers of computer chips for the iPhone and Android devices and is involved in research for the development of a 5G network.

Do what he likes and Canada - the biggest foreign supplier of steel and aluminum to the USA - goes tariff-free.

Like this: