Marcha 23, 2018

MONTEITH: Trump Is Playing a Blinder Against Sucker Juncker on EU Trade

12 Marcha 2018, 09:33 | Crisanna Felipe

Steel stocks are getting smoked after Trump's tariffs turn out weaker than expected (X, AKS)

EU will respond to US tariffs within 90 days

Saturday's meetings in Brussels had been previously planned but took on greater importance because of Trump's announcement of a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

While that kind of talk makes agriculture very nervous, Mr. Trump said he is optimistic there will be a NAFTA deal, "I have a feeling we are going to make a deal on NAFTA".

The EU has threatened retaliatory tariffs on United States goods, including iconic products such as bourbon and blue jeans. "We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan", stated his press aide. Those viewpoints became the centrepiece of his presidential campaign, and he vowed to not only slap tougher tariffs on exports, but also withdraw the United States from multilateral free trade agreements with allies in Asia and North America.

Nations have also rebuffed Mr Trump's attempt to justify the tariffs on national security grounds.

But the Saturday meetings in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, appeared to be inconclusive.

"We are on the losing side of nearly all trade deals", the president tweeted.

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, has said it is ready to impose safeguards, tariffs or quotas to protect its own steel and aluminum industries from products diverted to Europe because of the U.S. measures. "No immediate clarity on the exact United States procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week".

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

In revealing those measures, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker taunted Trump, saying the EU could match "stupid with stupid".

Brussels warned last week that it was fully prepared to take retaliatory action against €2.8 billion of U.S. imports, ranging from motorcycles to peanut butter.

It remains unclear how hard it would be for the European Union to win an exemption. NAFTA's legal structure, which offers its members tariff-free access to each other's markets, was a major complication in applying the tariffs to Canada and Mexico, according to a prominent Washington trade lobbyist, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. But despite the rough ride in the nation's capital, the American people may find reasons to agree with at least one effort undertaken by the Trump administration - since it could help to grow good jobs and boost the overall economy. Producers in the three countries are plugged into common supply and value chains, and if trade between them is distorted, it basically means that the price of their production goes up and their competitiveness goes down.

The tariffs rollout has been rife with confusion and dissension in the White House.

Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen warned Washington on Friday not to expect any concessions to win an exemption. "Now we have a different approach". Figures are in $ billion USA jobs and wealth are being given to other countries and they have taken advantage of the U.S. for years, said Trump, warning that he would not allow it anymore.

"Our trade relationship, as the president acknowledges, is a fair and reciprocal one", Turnbull said.

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