Trump's steel tariff wrong way to deal with problem

Sergio Conner
March 14, 2018

According to him, the country of the maple leaf is a "reliable ally" of the USA, but "solid" in his decision to protest against the imposed tariffs in the case of their distribution in Canada. Not only does this increase the cost of steel and aluminum used to manufacture products, it also increases the purchase price to consumers. "This exclusion reinforces Mexico's role as a partner of the U.S. in terms of trade and national security".

President Donald Trump has signed an order imposing sweeping new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, despite an global outcry and warnings it could begin a trade war.

The European Union has warned that if the United States does not exempt North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, they could retaliate with tariffs on us exports, including steel and agricultural products such as peanut butter, cranberries, and orange juice. Judging from the strong negative reaction coming from all directions, it would seem foolish for the follow through on the suggested tariffs, since it would likely result in a lose-lose scenario for both sides.

"Today, I am defending America's national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum", Trump said in the Roosevelt Room, flanked by steel and aluminum workers.

That sets up the potential that should the USA not get the concessions it wants from those talks, Canadian metal producers could soon find themselves subject to the same punitive tariff as everyone else. But we'll terminate NAFTA, and that'll be it.

"Based on this initial report, almonds are not on the targeted list", said the ABC.

The European Union warned before the announcement that it was ready to retaliate with counter-measures against iconic USA products such as Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans and bourbon.

"We are confident that steel consumers, most of whom are agile, profitable, and flush with cash from the recent tax cut, can navigate this new landscape if importers choose to raise prices", he said.

USA automakers hope that there the is scope for workarounds for companies whose raw material costs will be impacted by a 25 per cent levy on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum announced by Trump.

Trump also said his administration is also considering imposing reciprocal, or "mirror", tariffs on countries at the same level they impose on USA products.

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In a tweet on Thursday, Trump gave a hint of Canada's exemption from the trade tariffs.

But Labour's shadow trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, wrote to Dr Fox criticising his failure to address Parliament on the tariffs since they were first announced earlier this month.

"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.

The tariffs are merely leveling the playing field, said John Ferriola, the CEO of Nucor Steel. "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".

Speaking in a briefing, a senior administration official says there's no end date set on the exclusions.

Across the pond, a trade war really is brewing.

Trump said the tariffs - which will come into effect after 15 days - will not initially apply to Canada and Mexico, and that close partners on security and trade could negotiate exemptions. "These jobs and the steel and aluminum they produce are critical to our economy - especially airplane and ship building, along with the construction of roads, bridges and other infrastructure". "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 told CNBC.

After a week of intense lobbying from members of Congress - including members of Mr Trump's own party - world leaders and other stakeholders, he has agreed to exempt Canada and Mexico from the tariffs.

With national security as the primary issue, it would be hard to apply the tax to South Korea and Australia, meaning that they could ultimately land on Russian Federation more than nearly any other country, said Levy, now at adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

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