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Mnuchin: US in talks with countries seeking tariff exemptions

12 March 2018, 06:27 | Marta Robbins

US President Donald Trump speaks before signing Section 232 proclamations on steel and aluminium imports

US President Donald Trump speaks before signing Section 232 proclamations on steel and aluminium imports

That means shipping orders that have already been produced but not taking new orders because 25% tariffs would mean incurring a loss on new business.

A Eurofer spokesman also warned that the US's punitive tariffs not only make market access more hard for European steel but could flood Europe with imports from other nations unable to get into the United States market, pushing prices down and endangering EU jobs.

The tariffs, signed Thursday by President Donald Trump, are "protectionism in the name of national security", said Wang Hejun, director of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce's Trade Relief and Investigation Bureau.

Ms Bishop on Friday said she was aware of the letter and the government would spare no effort in trying to convince President Trump to exempt Australian steel from a 25 per cent tariff.

The EU exported about 5.5 million tons of steel to the US past year. "It's crap", Trump said, earning cheers from the crowd.

The U.S. president argued that "dumping" of cheap imports is eroding U.S manufacturers' ability to survive.

South Korean envoys appealed for their own exemption when they visited the White House last week to brief Mr Trump on their meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

By law, the tariffs need to be described as a national security matter.

"We have a very close relationship with Australia, we have a trade surplus with Australia, great country, long-term partner, we'll be doing something with them", he said.

In comments before the tariffs were confirmed, he said the UK produces "very high value steel, some of which can't be sourced in the United States and will simply push up the price of steel there".

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The tariffs carved out an exemption for Canada and Mexico, and allow other nations to argue for similar exceptions.

Trump had originally said that the tariffs would be applied equally, with no exceptions for allies.

"We are looking for a bit more clarity on the process of what happens next from the U.S.", an European Union official said on condition of anonymity.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of United States products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs. "Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security so we expect to be excluded", European trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels.

Organizations such as the WTO and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) perceive President Trump's statements as a new and serious risk to the world economy which for the first time in the post-2008 global financial crisis has caught up with a recovery process, and to global trade.

Mr Brady and more than 100 House Republicans urged Mr Trump on Wednesday to use narrowly focused tariffs to take action against China and other countries instead of across-the-board measures.

Trump insisted in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron - a leading European Union player staunchly opposed to the tariffs - that the "decision is necessary and appropriate to protect national security".

"This isn't a victory, it's a threat", said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "We just want fairness, because we have not been treated fairly by other countries". But Canada is also the biggest foreign buyer of American steel.

"These are two separate tracks and in the NAFTA negotiations Canada will not be subject to any type of pressure", she said.

For the G20 countries also including Turkey, worldwide trade agreements include as much opportunities as challenges.



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