Some pundits and lawmakers fear the tariffs could set off a trade war with the European Union that could prove destructive to some USA industries, as well as the nation’s economic vitality.
Over-capacity is a threat to all countries and to the jobs of all workers – including those UK, EU and U.S. who are engaged in fair trade.
Brussels has already announced a list of U.S. products it could hit with countermeasures – including oranges, tobacco, peanut butter and bourbon – if its exports are affected by the tariffs, with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker saying the EU could match “stupid with stupid”. “They’re going to take it”, Matthews said.
Europe’s main steel federation said Trump’s reasons for slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum are absurd and warned that the move could cost tens of thousands of jobs across the continent. Some of them will be mildly helped by the president’s tariffs.
Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed Friday that Australia will also be given an exemption, although the details are yet to be worked out.
The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (goo-TEHR’-esh) is “encouraged” by the announcement of an upcoming U.S. “We have to chose whether we want rules-based trade. or whether we want the rule of force, the rule of the strongest, which we have now seen”. “It feels like the American worker is getting a break and finally getting a shot to compete on a level playing field”.
The effect is pretty obvious: The U.S. would export less to other countries and would substitute some domestic production by imports from other parts of the world. China produces more than half of global supply and accounts for a much larger share of USA imports than for steel.
Trump brushed aside warnings from his own conservative lawmakers and foreign trading partners in imposing the tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium products.
A growing fear, too, is that retaliation from countries targeted by the tariffs will spill over into other products and escalate into a global trade war, hurting the world economy and demand for everything from copper to crude oil. “And the president is going to defend them against what is basically a flood of imports that have pushed out American workers, aluminum smelters”. China also produces about half the world’s aluminum, and the USA is one of its major export markets.
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”. Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler all fell more than 2% as USA steel producers rose on the Thursday, and losses extended into Friday. What’s more, unless the US declares war on its neighbor to the north, metal supplies from Canada are not likely to be compromised.
Zhong blamed the trade imbalance in part on controls over USA high-tech exports to China, repeating a Chinese claim that Washington could narrow its trade deficit if it allowed Beijing to buy more “dual use” technology such as supercomputers and advanced materials with military applications. But the USA has already imposed anti-dumping measures against Chinese producers, and relatively little Chinese metal flows directly into the US market. “And that is what we must stop”.
Rather, the worry is that a widening trade war with layers of retaliatory tariffs would depress global trade, which grew 4.2 percent past year, the most since 2011, on the fuel of the global economy.
The exemptions for Canada and Mexico could be ended if talks to renegotiate NAFTA stall, the White House said.
“We need a dialogue with the United States”.
Trump also slapped 10% tariffs on aluminium.
“If the same goals can be accomplished by other means, America will remain open to modifying or removing the tariffs for individual nations, as long as we can agree on a way to ensure that their products no longer threaten our security”, he said. Asked for his advice, Perdue chuckled softly and said, “Pray”.