Michael Bennet said, after Trump forewarned a hike in tariffs on steel, that “reckless tweets” could provoke a trade war that will cost jobs, hurt businesses and lead to inflation.
Trump has made strong hints that Australia will be given special consideration, given the special ties between the two countries, but no firm answer. At least for now.
Brussels is also looking at “safeguard” measures to protect its industry – restricting the bloc’s imports of steel and aluminium to stop foreign supplies flooding the European market, which is allowed under World Trade Organisation rules.
The tariffs would go into effect in two weeks and in the meantime, the USA could expect to see a number of countries requesting to be granted exemptions.
Here’s a closer look at what Trump’s action does, how it would work and whether it’s likely to succeed.
“For example, an American vehicle going to China pays 25 percent import duty, but a Chinese auto coming to the U.S. only pays 2.5 percent, a tenfold difference” Musk tweeted in response to one of Mr. Trump’s own tweets on the subject.
Turnbull said that while he is looking forward to progress on the talks between Trump and Kim, “sanctions must remain in full force, rigorously enforced until such time the regime starts to denuclearize”.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire spoke out against the tariffs, insisting that “there are only losers in a trade war”. He said the tariffs will help preserve steel and aluminum jobs.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Trump takes input from a “diverse set of viewpoints”, but added that “he knows it was his name on the ballot and he controls timing, content and tone”. “Therefore, DoD does not believe that the findings in the reports impact the ability of DoD programs to acquire the steel or aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements”. Leaders loudly condemned the move, which threatens to explode into a trade war and rupture America’s most important alliances in Asia.
“It’s really an assault on our country”, he blasted, announcing the tariffs on the metals used in everything from cars to construction, roads to railways.
Will China be hardest hit? “I think it’s highly unlikely that the WTO will think that it can tell the United States government what’s in its national security interest”.
Mexico is the fourth biggest supplier of steel to the USA, accounting for 9.3% of total imports, according to S&P Global Platts. The South American nation is the second steel supplier to the USA, after Canada, having exported $3 billion worth of iron ore-based products to the US.
The administration had come under intense pressure to exempt Canada. Critics called it absurd to claim that Canadian imports threatened US national security.
Trump also indicated that military allies, including North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries that spend at least two percent of gross domestic product on defence, could see a reduction in these tariffs.
Yes. Canada and Mexico could lose the exemption – and be slapped with the tariffs – if negotiations to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement collapse.
Newport said he wanted to make sure the new tariff structure gives the White House enough flexibility to punish those who try to game the systems and reward those who don’t. Renegotiations over NAFTA began last summer.
“The U.S.is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft”.
When it comes to numbers, US President Donald Trump worries little about precision. Beef and other meat, pharmaceutical products, aircraft parts and alcohol are significantly more valuable, and Australia may not want to put the USA market for those products in jeopardy by escalating tensions.
The Center for LNG, a liquefied natural gas industry group, plans to seek an exemption because some of the five kinds of steels it uses aren’t available from U.S. sources.
The tariffs have triggered the threat of countermeasures from the European Union and China.
The dispute will inevitably wind up before the WTO as member countries seek to block the tariffs, and retaliate.
How will USA trading partners respond?
Newport wasn’t alone. Drew Wilcox, vice president of steel giant Nucor, called the tariffs “a clear message to foreign competitors that dumping steel products into our market will no longer be tolerated”.
Safeguards are temporary tariffs.
Mr. Trump’s ultimate target is the World Trade Organization (WTO), the fragile and embattled keeper of global trade rules. “Despite the fact that Ford buys the vast majority of its steel and aluminum for USA production in the U.S., this action could result in an increase in domestic commodity prices – harming the competitiveness of American manufacturers”, the company said.
If the WTO threw out the US tariffs, the president – already critical of WTO rulings against America – might be tempted to pull out of the organization. Normally, trade policies and negotiations of major global powers shall focus on trade rules and institutions, rather than specific bilateral outcomes.
Article 21 of GATT allows a member country to take “any action which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests … taken in time of war or other emergency in global relations”.