Trump sets metals tariffs but exempts Canada and Mexico

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US President Donald Trump has indicated that Australia would soon be exempted from his decision to impose a 25 per cent tariff on import of steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

The tariffs, worth billions of dollars, sparked immediate protests from top trading partners the European Union and Brazil, with retaliatory action expected from China and other economic powers.

In recent months, the US has been systematically blocking the naming of new judges to the organization's seven-member appeals body, a move that risks slowing down already sluggish dispute-settlement proceedings. "We can not allow this to happen as it has for many years!" he wrote on Twitter on March 7. Trump said in his tweet.

Mexico, the third biggest trading partner with the USA, was also exempted from Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

Seko said Japan's steel exports to the United States, used for automobile manufacturing, are "contributing greatly to the USA industry and (the creation of) jobs".

Greg Armstrong, CEO of Plains All American Pipeline LP, told audience members at a Houston conference on Monday that he couldn't buy one type of 26-inch (66-centimeter) pipe he needs for a specific project because it's only made in three places - and none of them is in the US. "So the national security justification will make it even harder to back out, and I think the world will see through this", said Carlos Gutierrez, former commerce secretary under President George W. Bush who is now chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council.

"Especially given today's globalization, choosing a trade war is a mistaken prescription". "In a globalized world, it is particularly unhelpful, as it will harm both the initiator and the target countries". "China would have to make a justified and necessary response".

He said the Japanese steel industry will study the impact of the US decision on levies "very carefully" and continue "to advocate for the adoption of policies based on the principles of free trade".

For imports, risk is greatest for communication equipment (i.e. cell phones), computer equipment, apparel, semiconductors and some consumer goods.

There could be some concern if the U.S. extends tariffs to beef, other meat products, aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals and alcoholic beverages.

Possibly. The more countries that are spared from the tariffs, the tougher the choice for the administration: Offer America's metals industries less and less protection. Apple gets nearly $45 billion in annual revenue from China.

China's Commerce Ministry said it "firmly opposes" the United States president's move but gave no indication whether Beijing might make good on threats to retaliate. But the tariffs will hit Canada the hardest as it provides 16 percent of total US demand in steel, followed by Brazil and South Korea, while China provides a modest 2 percent despite all the tough protectionist rhetoric directed against Beijing.

The president also boasted to outside advisers that he knew the tariffs issue better than his advisers and suggested that the move could help him lock up Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and MI again, according to a person familiar with the president's thinking but not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations. "That's the difference here", Schumer 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.

Higher costs for imported steel and aluminum would be felt in states like Missouri, Louisiana, Connecticut and Maryland, where those products account for more than 5 percent of imports, according to the report. "We raised this with the prior administration and nothing happened". Just want a fair outcome, ideally where tariffs/rules are equally moderate. "Nothing more. Hope this does not seem unreasonable".

The EU insists that it is committed to open, global trade, and that Trump's tariffs are a protective measure to prop up US industry that could undermine the worldwide trading system. Under no reasonable interpretation of current market trends is the nation likely to become dependent upon steel or aluminum from potentially hostile foreign powers.

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