China, which ranks 11 among the largest sources of USA steel imports, was also the only country named in a White House statement on the tariffs, amid a worldwide glut of aluminium that has shuttered United States smelters.
“Our tariffs don’t go effective for at least another 15 days and we’re going to see who’s treating us fairly and who’s not treating us fairly”.
Leading Republican Paul Ryan is among those who have denounced the move.
The initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico are not time-limited but are created to last only long enough for the administration to assess the outlook for the NAFTA renegotiations.
“We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this”, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told policy makers, experts and reporters at an event in Brussels.
American steel and aluminum workers have always been betrayed, but “that betrayal is now over”, Trump said.
The result, he argued, had been a “decimation” of U.S. communities from a sustained “assault”. “It’s really an assault on our country”, he continued.
The European Union has already identified US blue jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles as possible targets. Trump said no one should be surprised, as it was a campaign promise. That requires a multilateral solution.
The tariff plan has angered U.S. allies, including Canada, Mexico, Britain and members of the European Union, who argue that their exports to the United States do not pose a threat to USA national security.
“Our presumption is that the European Union is a whole body and that the U.S. will respect that”, Ms Malmstrom said.
The US leader had also added Australia to a list of likely carve-outs, as a “great country” and “long-term partner”. “I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs, and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy”.
The announcement followed a day of confusion in Washington, with lawmakers left in the dark about the specifics of Trump’s plan until a legislative briefing was scheduled just minutes before the White House ceremony.
The head of the United Nations trade and development agency Unctad said the tariffs would take a toll on poorer countries and could trigger takeovers in their mining industries.
The proclamations include provisions to allow other countries to discuss alternative ways to address the threat posed by the metal exports, a senior administration official told reporters.
Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers affiliate, also said he was “disappointed” by the tariffs.
The developments were largely expected by financial markets – which responded relatively calmly to confirmation of the tariff plan.
“We are friends. We are allies”.
“We want to build our ships, we want to build our planes, we want to build our military equipment with steel, with aluminium from our country”.
Trump says a 25 percent tax will apply to steel imports, and 10 percent will be added to aluminum brought into the U.S. Trump says the excess of imported steel and aluminum is a “travesty” and hurts American workers and industry.
Its director, Gareth Stace, said: “The UK sector is in the midst of a fragile recovery following years of considerable turmoil, it would be utterly devastating if this were to be undermined”.