Australia PM says Trump to grant tariff exemption

President Trump Meets With Steel And Aluminum Manufacturing Industry Leaders March 1st 2018

Earlier that day, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a measure authorizing the 25 percent duty on imported steel and a 10 percent duty on imported aluminum, while excluding Canada and Mexico.

In reaction, Iranian lawmaker Ramezan-Ali Sobhanifar said, "Considering the fact the U.S. is a major consumer of steel, the tariff increase could push major steel producers to look for new markets". Only Canada and Mexico - both partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement being renegotiated - were excluded from the tariffs.

"The president can do exemptions and my expectation is there may be some other countries that he considers in the next two weeks", Mnuchin said in an interview with broadcaster CNBC.

Malmström will meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels on Saturday to discuss an exemption.

China's trade surplus with the United States narrowed for a second month in a row in February, dropping to US$21 billion, official data showed Thursday (Mar 8) amid rising trade tensions with the Trump administration.

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.

"We are friends we are allies, we work together, we can not possibly be a threat to national security in the U.S., so we are counting on being excluded".

China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate, citing imports from the U.S. ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics.

The European Union, the world's biggest trade bloc, chimed in. China is also the potential target of far more wide-ranging USA action over what Washington says is its theft of intellectual property and coercion of US firms to share commercial secrets.

Mr Eggert then demanded European Union instate protective measures for the industry, adding: "We cannot stand by and watch the United States light a match under the global trading system".

The Commerce Department also may look into removing certain products from the brunt of the hefty tariffs, he said.

The EU insists that it is committed to open, global trade, and that Trump's tariffs are a protective measure to prop up USA industry that could undermine the worldwide trading system. "No immediate clarity on the exact United States procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week".


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