Marcha 23, 2018

Trump sticks to tariff level pledge even as he offers possible exemptions

14 Marcha 2018, 04:20 | Crisanna Felipe

Senior Republicans urge Trump to back down on tariffs

Mexican workers disguised as President Donald Trump protest against his economic policies in late February in Mexico City

The 25 percent steel tariff announced by Trump has already drawn threats from Canada, the European Union and other trading partners to target key USA exports.

"If we're in NATO, he wants to make sure that NATO gets more money so that NATO can protect all of us and fulfill its goal", Mnuchin said, underscoring Trump's push to get NATO allies to pay 2 percent on defense. "Tit-for-tat retaliatory measures don't profit any country". Donald Trump replied with a counter threat: slapping tariffs on European cars.

"However, history has shown that tariffs imposed on imported steel could raise prices on both domestic and imported materials, thus causing a financial burden on our customers", the company said. "I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy". In fact, for every worker at a steel plant in the United States, there are more than 40 workers employed in steel-consuming industries such as construction, motor vehicles and machinery. "They're gonna be less able to buy a new auto or buy the parts that they're gonna need to fix or replace on a vehicle they already own...or even to buy other consumer goods that go on trucks throughout the country". Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said it's better to target "these rogue players".

President Trump has made no secret of his dislike of the NAFTA trade agreement.

The prime minister is hoping the rumours are true. On Tuesday, White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn announced his resignation, though no specific date has been given. He signed separate proclamations ordering the tariffs. The contentious tariffs will go into effect in 15 days. "I don't see why Canada should jeopardize its negotiating positions at the NAFTA table for the tariff".

"Hamilton should not be the steel capital of the United States", he said.

President Trump imposed the tariffs he's been longing for on Thursday, and beneath the outcry from many business leaders and economists, some people are cheering. He invited some of the workers to speak from the presidential podium, and several said that excessive "dumping" of foreign steel and aluminum had negatively affected their jobs and families.

He says politicians have for years lamented decline in the industries, but nobody has taken action.

"He may be globalist, but I still like him", Trump joked on Thursday, alluding to an ideological clash within his administration that the "nationalists" appear to have decisively won.

President Trump is playing with fire.

Fears of an all-out trade war have risen since Trump announced the planned tariffs - 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium - last week. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China imports about 100,000 tons of almonds each year, and 45 million metric tons of food grown in the United States every year ends up in China.

The policy comes as little surprise, since Trump routinely condemned what he characterized as awful trade policies with the likes of China and Japan and vowed to revive American manufacturing by addressing America's trade posture.

"This has been an assault on our country", he said.

In fact, Canada's ambassador to the USA even corrected Trump when the president made the same claim in December - citing U.S. data.

Trump campaigned on saving U.S. steel and aluminium jobs, which have been lost to cheap imports.

"Our greatest presidents" he said, "they protected our country from outside influence, from other countries coming in and stealing our wealth and stealing our jobs and stealing our companies".

"Higher tariffs will increase costs of Hyundai and Kia, putting them at a disadvantage compared with their rivals in the United States", a senior Korean trade ministry official told reporters in a background briefing on Friday.

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