European Union hits out at trade 'bullies' as Donald Trump row deepens

Sergio Conner
March 13, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose a hefty import duty on European cars if the European Union retaliates against his steep tariffs on aluminum and steel.

In a White House ceremony before steel and aluminum industry workers on March 8, President Donald J. Trump signed a proclamation imposing a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% duty on aluminum.

"This is very important for the thousands of people who rely on these industries for work", Turnbull tweeted.

The exemptions for Canada and Mexico are contingent on the three countries reaching what the USA views as a favorable deal renegotiating NAFTA in continuing talks. But he gave Canada and Mexico a reprieve: He exempted them from the tax temporarily - provided that they agree to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement to Trump's liking.

Canada is the United States' largest provider of steel and aluminum, with about 85 per cent of Canadian exports being directed to that country. Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc.

Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said at a steel conference in Germany that Europe did not understand the logic of the proposed USA tariffs on the basis of national security and was preparing retaliatory measures if necessary.

"We are ready to take action whenever action is required. we had your backs last week and we always will", Trudeau said after visiting a Rio Tinto Ltd smelter in Alma, Quebec, his first stop on a tour this week of Canada's steel and aluminum regions. But as noted last week by The Associated Press, Trump's steel tariffs would benefit an industry that employs 140,000 Americans at the expense of steel-dependent industries that employ 6.5 million, such as auto and aircraft manufacturers and the makers of building materials.

"We're doing tariffs on steel".

The European Commission accused Trump of "cherry-picking" data to distort the debate in a transatlantic dispute that threatens to become a trade war.

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"The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy will be assisting United Kingdom industry working with U.S. customers to build their cases for exemptions", Fox said.

Trump stoked the fire on Saturday by suggesting even broader tariffs for the European Union if they don't address still-unspecified concerns.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, speaks at the Conferederation of British Industry's annual conference in London, Britain, November 6, 2017.

Earlier Monday, a spokesman for the European Commission said it expects to be in contact with the U.S.

NAFTA talks started seven months ago and the U.S.is starting to get antsy about getting a deal.

"In today's environment, there's a number of our US citizens who think that they've lost their job as a result of global trade". NAFTA has turned into a dirty word. "We believe that protectionism is a dead end".

Fritz referred to a Ball State University study that found 88 percent of US manufacturing job losses were directly attributable to gains in productivity.

Tariffs can be a powerful tool to address inequities by countries that are not playing by the rules. That was the rationale behind the Hawke-Keating tariff reforms of 1983-96, that took Australia from a protected economy with high inflation and high unemployment, to an economy that has experienced over 25 years of continued economic growth.

"The tariffs will extend an upswing in steel and aluminum prices and users' input costs". Whether specific countries are exempted or not, the uncertainty caused by Trump's action destabilizes companies' operations and causes unneeded confusion.

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